Gender Dysphoria and Transgender Patients
We are an inclusive surgery and proudly support our Transgender patients in managing referrals, prescriptions and their wider physical and mental health.
If you are questioning your gender, or have decided you wish to be referred to a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) our GPs are happy to discuss this with you and explain the options available to you.
We can refer you to any NHS GIC of your choice. Waiting times nationally are very long, often several years.
You may choose to see a private clinic in order to be seen sooner. This is independent of any NHS referral any would not impact on any NHS referral or waiting times.
Most private clinics accept self-referrals. Please be aware however that if you commence private treatment it is not necessarily the case that we as your GP will definitely take over any prescribing. You should be prepared to pay for such treatment privately. In some cases, depending on the private clinic, we may agree to Shared Care and thus your prescriptions would be NHS and incur the NHS prescription charge.
We tend to enter Shared Care for medications with most NHS GICs and several private clinics. Shared care is not compulsory for GPs and is ultimately at the discretion of the practice. When considering shared care agreements from private clinics we make a judgement on the reputability of the specialist, the comprehensiveness of any assessments that have taken place, and the proposed medication.
There are some clinics we do not enter shared care with, GenderGP is an example of this, due to concerns about the above criteria.
We do however generally assist such patients with monitoring blood tests and the administration of medication if required (i.e. medication prescribed by the specialist)
Waiting lists for GICs tend to be long. We do not issue 'bridging' hormones to patients waiting to be seen. We are not experts in prescribing hormonal medication for Transgender patients, being unaware of the doses required and the monitoring involved. This lies outside out competency and as such we do not feel able to prescribe.
Changing Your Name and Gender
You can at any stage change your 'known as' name on our medical system, so staff call you by your chosen name. We can also remove your Title (Mr/Miss/Mrs)
Changing your Registered Name is reflected throughout the NHS system, and so requires proof of change of name e.g. Deed Poll, after which we can change it.
Changing your gender marker is more complex. The NHS currently has a binary gender marker system, either 'M' or 'F'. Changing this requires a completely new medical record and NHS number. Your old NHS number and associated medical records are retired completely, and a brand new NHS number with new gender marker is created.
This is important to appreciate, as things like previous medical history, vaccinations and allergies could be lost unless they are transferred across. If you wish to change your gender marker we will generally ask you for permission to transfer your previous medical record across to your new NHS number so that no information is lost.
It's also important to realise that NHS screening programmes rely on your gender marker. E.g. If a Trans-man changes his gender marker from F to M during his transition aged 23, but still has a cervix, when he reaches ages 25 he will NOT automatically be invited for cervical screening unless special arrangements are put in place. Our admin team are experienced in managing these issues and can help you navigate this confusing landscape.