Health issues

There is limited information available in Scotland on the differences in health experiences and outcomes for transgender people.

Equally Well, the Scottish Government’s report of the Ministerial task force on health inequalities, notes in its introduction that transgender people experience lower self-esteem and higher rates of mental health problems and these have an impact on health behaviours, including higher reported rates of smoking, alcohol and drug use. These behaviours have their associated health risks such as cardiovascular disease and various cancers.

The European survey by Press for Change of transgender people’s experiences of health care found that  of 872 people, 34.4 per cent of respondents had attempted suicide as a result of being a cross-dresser, transgender / transsexual person or because of other people’s reactions to them being trans.

The Department of Health’s 2007 briefing on trans people’s health notes that:

  • female to male trans men are rarely included in breast screening programmes
  • male to female trans women are rarely offered prostate screening
  • trans people have experienced the refusal of care such as smear tests, breaches of confidentiality and the practice of placing trans women on male wards, and trans men on female wards.

Practice guidance

NHS Inform provides information on gender reassignment services.

The Tayside Violence Against Women Training Consortium has produced guidance for mainstream women’s services on the inclusion of transgender women.

Guidance from the rest of the UK

The Department of Health has produced:

GIRES prepared publications for the Department of Health including:

Updated April 2015

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