Closed petition Increase funding for NHS Transgender Services.

With unprecedented demand for transgender services, users are forced to wait an unreasonable amount of time to access the services they need. Additional funding to drop the waiting times (Stretching into years) is required and for local services to be able to care for transgender people.

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Recent data released by Gender Identity Clinics suggests that some transgender people are waiting in excess of 4 years to access services to give them a pathway to being comfortable in who they are. No other treatment pathway has waits this long for treatment and it is unacceptable. A move to localized treatment as well as additional funding can reduce the waiting times that transgender people have to endure.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 26 January 2021

The Government is providing additional resources and funding to help reduce waiting times for gender identity services, this includes the opening of more services in local health settings.

Both the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England (NHSE) have recognised that waiting times for gender identity services, driven by increasing demand, are unacceptably long, despite a £6 million increase in yearly funding since 2016/17.

To address this increase in waiting times for Gender Dysphoria Clinics (GDC), NHSE has concluded that a new delivery model was necessary; one that could offer access to specialist interventions in primary care and other local health settings. Three sites were identified to run as pilots for the new delivery model. These are in, London, Manchester, and Cheshire and Merseyside.

The first of these new services in London began seeing patients in July 2020. The service is run by Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and is sited alongside a specialist sexual heath service run by the trust. The second new service in Greater Manchester began seeing patients in December 2020 and the third service in Cheshire and Merseyside began seeing patients in January 2021. All these services will be assessed as pilots for 3 years, and planning is underway to establish further clinics in other parts of the country.

Alongside the procurement of new GDCs, additional surgical services have been secured - increasing clinical capacity for chest reconstruction surgery so that there is now sufficient capacity to meet the planned national case load. Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the emergency suspension of elective procedures, this additional funding was not deployed in this way in 2020. However, NHSE will continue to set aside additional money in 2021/22 to fund the increased number of surgical procedures.

Whilst funding is important for services, it is recognised that having the right workforce is vital. To enable this the NHS has, in 2020, established the UKs first accredited post-graduate training credential in gender medicine. The course is delivered by the Royal College of Physicians and University of London with the aim to increase the professional workforce.

Department of Health and Social Care