This post is about problems you might experience with changing gender on your medical records and one person’s problems after having done this.
The post was originally placed on the Facebook group, Transgender UK (Support Group).
Posted on 10th December 2022.
So, I’m normally not the person to come running to Facebook to complain but this time I am.
To clarify this isn’t a post to get sympathy but to educate people on how transgender people are treated in this country and by the healthcare system.
So, for anyone who doesn’t know, if you change your gender identity in the UK, the healthcare system has no way of changing your gender on your medical records. (Your medical records are also your gender (how you identify) and not your sex (what you were born at birth)) So if you change your gender identity, you have to get a new NHS number with your new Gender Marker. This alone causes issues for transgender people when going to any form of doctor’s appointment given that your doctor has no way of knowing you are transgender and what parts of a human body you do or don’t have.
For me getting my new NHS number happened in Summer. When the process got started I asked my doctor “does everything get transferred over” and I got told “yes everything stays exactly the same but on the new number and just the gender will change”
Fast forward a few months and I have my new number. Early November I find out that to fly to America by passport and covid vaccine pass need to match, which they don’t. I go to the doctors ask them to make them match up for my trip there and no problem they do it.
When getting my paperwork sorted for the trip I go to get my covid-19 vaccine pass. ‘No Covid 19 Record’. I call up the 119 explain I’m trans, explain my name situation, get told “it’s just your change of name it’ll update soon”. I call nearly everyday for two weeks to be told exactly the same thing. Until yesterday when I called and I got told “actually it’s because your vaccines aren’t in your medical record as vaccinations. They are in there on my recent medications but in the wrong place. They gave my number to the covid vaccine records people and I get told I’ll get a call.
Last night I get a phone call, which credit to them was very fast callback time, I get asked what my problem is. I explain.
“I’m sorry we don’t have a solution for transgender people”
He went on to explain that they can’t give me a covid pass because they can’t be sure it’s me. The same person from my past NHS number. (Set aside the fact the name, DOB, address, GP and contact info is all identical but carry on)
“There’s nothing we can do to provide transgender people with proof of vaccination. If you call back in 6-8 weeks we can let you know if we are any closer to a solution”
So 8 days before I fly to America and this is where I am.
I have gotten myself a doctors note signed to say I’m vaccinated however there is no physical way that I can get the universal pass that everyone in the UK gets.
The government can say all they want that there’s no discrimination in the healthcare system but they’d be wrong. Because this is not fair.
If anyone does happen to work for the NHS or the airport, and has any form of advice on how I can make sure I’m let onto my plane then it would be greatly appreciated.
I’ll end saying that this isn’t a personal attack ok anyone working for/with the nhs, I understand and agree their staff are overworked and underpaid and I am so thankful for all NHS staff and the service we have for free in this country. However, this is about the bigger picture than that.
My initial thought when I heard this was, “Oh my god” and “that’s not good”. Followed by “Is that going to happen to my records as well?”
To be honest it has shocked me a little, especially as I have a pre-existing medical condition!
I ended up chatting with some of my friends about this and two of them have already changed their gender on the NHS records and they’ve had similar issues with their past details not being transferred.
This does not bode well in my mind’s eye!