Reform of Service Provision of Gender Identity Disorders in the NHS sign now

We, the Undersigned recognise an intrinsically unfair, poor, and inadequate level of service in the NHS treatment of persons suffering with Gender Identity Disorder/Gender Dysphoria.

We recognise a serious absence of the provision of care for this condition at a local level for much of the country, resulting on a reliance on Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic as a main treatment centre for a disproportionate area of the UK.

There is an overly obstructive and detrimental (to the patient) rigidity of service offered to patients with this condition, in contravention of the current international Standards of Care for the provision of treatment for people with this condition (HBIGDA 2001), which stress flexibility of approach and treatment. This often causes patients to see the unsatisfactory care that exists as an obstacle to be overcome rather than as assistance with their condition. This is incongruent with the governments aims for "Patient-Centred Care", and yet little seems to be changing, and cannot change while the NHS relies primarily on a single treatment centre (Charring Cross). "Patient Choice" appears to be another government aim which does not and cannot occur in the treatment of this condition.

Even at GP level, many doctors have no or little understanding of the condition, resulting in a painful struggle for the patient to get initial access to any services that may be provided.

We recognise that NHS treatment of this condition is far behind the standards set by many other countries in the western world, while the private sector of the UK offers a far better service. This effectively renders the NHS a rational and effective choice only for those without the means to obtain private treatment, and so creating a 'two-tier system'.

There is a lack of uniformity in the availability of treatment across the UK, as this condition is considered to be of 'low-priority' by some trusts/authorities, while the evidence clearly indicates that this condition can lead to depression (as it often does) and suicide, such is the level of distress felt by sufferers. It is also apparent that many GPs and even some psychiatrists have little or no understanding of this condition, further restricting the patients access to the treatment the need and are legally entitled to.

We call for immediate and prompt investigation, and realistic assessment of the service provision for this condition, followed by effective and realistic reform to meet the current international Standards of Care and government aims for the NHS as a whole, to include recognition and assessment of the patients distresses, personal circumstances, needs, ability to make rational judgement, and choices, alongside nessecary medical criteria, and not simply ignored as they currently are.

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Marylou ComptonBy:
International PolicyIn:
Petition target:
The UK Government Department of Heath

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