Case studies: Gender reassignment

Case studies about gender reassignment services and health services for transgender people.

Quick links:


NHS Forth Valley’s Transgender Etiquette

What?

NHS Forth Valley´s Transgender Etiquette guidance supports staff to meet the needs of transgender people who access their services. The purpose of the guidance is to answer any queries or concerns that staff may have. The guidance gives good practice information on, for example, how to address trans patients, respect their privacy and also builds staff understanding of the issues.

Why?

NHS Forth Valley is committed to creating a working environment free from harassment, bullying or victimisation and ensuring that transgender staff and service users are not harassed, bullied or subject to unlawful discrimination. The guidance reminds staff of their duties within the Equality Act with regard to trans people and the provision of goods and services and helps to ensure that the rights of transgender staff and service users are upheld.

How?

The guidance was developed in close collaboration with the local transgender groups Central Scotland Transgender Group (Dunblane), LGBT Youth Scotland and in conjunction with the Scottish Transgender Alliance. NHS Forth Valley also spoke to trans people, staff / service representatives and external organisations to identify the most important and useful information to be included in the guidance.

Progress

The Transgender Etiquette was developed in July 2010 and widely disseminated across services in NHS Forth Valley. Feedback from staff has been positive and staff have reported feeling reassured that the etiquette guidance is readily available within their department if it is needed. The etiquette contributed to NHS Forth Valley recently being awarded the LGBT Charter Mark from LGBT Youth Scotland.

For further information contact: Lynn Waddell, Equality and Diversity Project Manager, NHS Forth Valley, lynn.waddell@nhs.net


Back to top

Involving the transsexual community and NHS staff in the development of the Gender Reassignment Protocol (GRP)

What?

A Gender Reassignment Protocol (GRP) was developed in 2011/12 to improve practice and ensure consistent, timely and equitable access to care and treatment for gender reassignment. The GRP was disseminated to NHS Boards with Chief Executive Letter 26 in July 2012. Extensive engagement with the transsexual community and NHS staff delivering gender reassignment services was carried out to ensure the protocol met individual need and provided a holistic approach to treatment.

Why?

Access to gender reassignment services varies across NHSScotland. For example, reported waiting times for a first appointment at a gender identity clinic can range from six months to two years. Uncertainty and lack of clarity around the gender reassignment patient pathway can lead to anxiety and distress for patients.

To ensure the gender reassignment protocol best met the needs of the people using it, the project engaged with people who had undergone, where undergoing or considering undergoing gender reassignment to get a better understanding of patients´ experiences and the differences in service provision across the country.

The project also engaged with NHS staff with experience of delivering or managing gender reassignment services to ensure the protocol also met the needs of the staff that would use it.

How?

Working with the Scottish Transgender Alliance (STA) we held a series of nine focus groups across Scotland with members of the transsexual community. Attendees were asked for their experiences of current gender reassignment services and how they could be improved. The groups were facilitated by the STA, recorded by NHS Health Scotland staff, and held on evenings and weekends to encourage attendance. A separate young persons group was held in Edinburgh to gather the views and feedback of people 16 and younger.

To gather the views and experiences of NHS staff, the project met with staff from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian and NHS Tayside who have treated or managed patients undergoing gender reassignment. They were asked about difficulties they encountered when delivering the service and how the service could be improved to meet the needs of staff and patients.

The views of both the transsexual community and NHS staff were gathered and informed the development of the final protocol.

Progress

The engagement identified key service developments which have been incorporated into the protocol as follows:

  • Waiting time guarantees have been applied to specific in-patient/day-case treatments where the treatment has been agreed between the patient and their clinician.
  • The protocol aims to improve multi-disciplinary team working and communication by highlighting when clinicians should consult or involve other health professionals.
  • The protocol aims to ensure shared treatment decision making between patient and clinician by providing information to inform patient/clinician treatment plan discussions.
  • Patients and staff will have a clearer understanding of the pathway and various treatment options available for gender reassignment.

The protocol will be reviewed within one year of implementation to measure improvement and identify areas that may need further development.

For further information about this process, contact: Kelly Muir, Senior Equality Project Officer, NHS Health Scotland, kelly.muir@nhs.net

Back to top

Updated April 2015

We use cookies to help improve this website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue. Don't show this message again