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The waiting game

GP leaders welcome long-awaited first Welsh transgender clinic

A long-awaited gender identify treatment service in Wales will start to see patients in October, the health secretary has announced.

And patients in the Cardiff area who have been waiting for hormone treatment will be able to get prescriptions from a specialist GP from next month.

In February, BMA Wales GP committee chair Dr Charlotte Jones slammed the ‘unacceptable’ lack of progress on the setting up of a transgender enhanced service run by GPs with special interest with one LMC warning the delay was damaging patients’ mental health.

Plans for the service were initially announced in August 2017 after GPs had battled for a Welsh service to help patients currently having to travel to London and who were struggling to maintain treatment.

Dr Jones expressed GPs frustration that plans were not moving forward and that there had been a ‘lack of transparency’.

Health secretary Vaughan Gething said the new Welsh Gender Team will start seeing patients at the end of October with those in most need in the Cardiff and Vale area being seen next month.

He added that work was continuing with health boards and the BMA's GP Committee to develop a fully integrated gender identity service in Wales.

‘Today’s announcement is a positive step towards the fully integrated service I expect to be in place next year.

‘A specialist team in Wales will reduce both the distance of travel and, over time, the waiting times people in Wales currently experience.’

Dr Nimish Shah, member of the BMA’s Welsh GPs committee said: ‘The cabinet secretary’s announcement is a step in the right direction.

‘The fact that it has taken until now for progress to be made is however, frustrating.

‘GPC Wales believes that transgender patients should be treated as close to home as possible, and will continue to work with the Welsh Government to ensure this happens.’

Readers' comments (8)

  • now it is time for NHSE to issue a reply to their consultation of last year and then start funding proper shared care or GPSI prescribing.
    Get a move on or I will have to take you to court!

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  • Sure the daily basic health care is not very news attractive but should this be an NHS priority when we are debating cancer drugs and having to apply for funding to get people mobile with hips and knees?

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  • I have grave concerns how history will view this approach to often very troubled and vulnerable individuals. Treating a medical issue or state sponsored genital mutilation?

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  • Agree Scottish GP. I am not convinced that treating a condition that almost certainly has a major psychological component with major surgery and lifelong major changes to thier endocrine system and demonstrates inconsistent outcomes is the right way to be managing many of these patients.

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  • How on earth did people with gender dysphoria cope in the past - the same way as kids with ADHD I suppose. People are like onions - treat one layer and there is always another underneath. The problem is lack of funds. How many onion layers are we going to treat?

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  • David Banner

    So Welsh practices are closing, OOHours on the brink, hip replacements are “low clinical priority”, cancer treatments rationed......yet there are funds for this media-friendly group of patients? Whether you believe transgender people need medically assisted reassignment or compassionate psychiatric help (I am happy to admit I don’t have the knowledge to decide which), should the cash strapped NHS have to pay for these expensive treatments? Should the private sector not deal with this? And if (as stated above) history decides this was all a ghastly mistake, who picks up the pieces? Will GPSIs be leaning on unwilling GPs to prescribe potentially dangerous and possibly unwarranted hormone treatments to these vulnerable patients? And what about the hugely controversial issue of transgender children? (Caring compassion or appalling abuse??). This highly specialised subject should come nowhere near Primary Care.

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  • Wow great that'll keep the millennial candle waving rainbow warrior LGBTXYZ$%^& snowflakes happy.
    I'm going to celebrate by sprinkling myself with shiny sparkles and sing to the heavens about the righteousness of it all.

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  • Agree with David Banner's commentary.

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