A Report Has Called For An Urgent Overhaul Of Healthcare For Trans Youth

The Cass Review findings detail how the resources are too limited in England.

by Bustle UK
Originally Published: 
New Report Finds GPs Are “Ill-Equipped” To Provide Healthcare To Trans People
Caia Image/Photodisc/Getty Images

A new report issued by the London Assembly Health Committee has pretty much confirmed what many of us already knew — that trans people are increasingly facing difficulties in accessing healthcare on the NHS. Limited by flaws in NHS policy, GPs are finding it increasingly difficult to provide adequate healthcare for their transgender patients.

As Per Pink News, the ‘Trans Health Matters’ report demonstrates flaws in NHS policy that have led to trans and non-binary people being missed for essential cervical and breast screenings, and that NHS staff are ill-equipped and miseducated on LGBTQ+ and trans-specific healthcare issues. This can facilitate deadnaming and misgendering, which can be deeply traumatic for trans patients.

Referencing research conducted by TransActual, the report finds that most NHS staff want to help and support their trans patients but are ill-equipped. Training on LGBTQ+ health inequalities is not mandated, with only 8% of NHS professionals reporting feeling confident to provide trans healthcare.

In its 2021 report, TransActual found that 70% of trans people had experienced transphobia in accessing healthcare, with 14% having been refused healthcare on account of their identity. A further 57% of trans people delayed visiting their healthcare provider for fear of being judged, dead-named, or misgendered.

Calling on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to review inequality strategies, the London Assembly Health Committee requests that a London-specific consultative group be set up including LGBTQ+ people with lived experiences of healthcare inequality.

Other recommendations include improving NHS IT systems so that “all healthcare providers are able to record trans status in a consistent and inclusive way”, and review LGBTQ+ training and education so it’s included as part of “compulsory and ongoing training”.

Further investigation shows that trans youth are specifically in need of better care. A new report commissioned by NHS England has called for a complete overhaul of the provision of healthcare services to trans youth “as soon as feasibly possible.” At present, there is only one NHS service that provides healthcare for all trans youth across the entire country, the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock Gender Clinic in London. According to Cass Review, the organisation that produced the report, this is unacceptable.

The review board has called for regional trans healthcare centres to rethink their approach, and expand the services they offer trans youth. It also recommends that local centres become “direct service providers” by treating children and young people who may need specialist care.

With contributions from Eleanor Noyce and Lola Christina Alao

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