Gender identity consultation
NHS England has launched a 12-week consultation on specialised gender identity services for adults. The consultation is open until 30 September 2017 (https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/gender-identity-services-for-adults/user_uploads/gender-identity-consultation-guide-upd-jul17.pdf).
NHS England wants to hear people’s views on its proposed service specifications. The service specifications have been developed to take into account the outcome of engagement with the transgender community and clinical experts.
The need for the new specifications has been driven by reports from some transgender people that they feel the NHS does not treat them with dignity and respect.
NHS England says its aim is to establish a model of delivery that ensures individuals who use specialised gender identity services receive high quality of care in terms of access, experience and outcomes.
The consultation covers a range of issues including age for first referral – the report proposes 17 years of age. There are also several options for the responsibility for prescribing hormone therapy. Currently, clinics ask GPs to prescribe, however, GP groups have questioned whether this is appropriate. The consultation includes the options that either GPs continuing to prescribe, or a specialist team issues prescriptions for one year (after which GPs will be responsible for prescribing), or the training of GPs with a special interest in gender dysphoria.