I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and research recently about the gender clinic waiting times and the service that they provide.

As many of you will know I’m on the waiting list to see the gender clinic specialist and was referred by my GP in early 2020.

The particular gender clinic I have been referred to is currently seeing people who were referred by their GP’s in 2018, which means the likelihood of me being seen by the gender clinic before 2025 is highly unlikely.

The waiting list for gender clinics gets longer and longer every year and some people may think that there is probably more and more people being referred but this is only part of the story.

The way the gender clinic works is they are not just seeing a person once and then passing them onto to another person within the NHS, the aim is to build a rapport with the patient before recommending what course of treatment they require. Be this ejection from the service, hormone replacement therapy or even surgery.

Time between the first appointment and the second appointment maybe many many months. This is after you’ve waited probably years to see a specialist!

This means that processing of patients is extremely slow. More so, if the referred patients is under the age of 18.

However, anyone under the age of 18 is usually referred to a specialist clinic such as Tavistock.

But, the system is about to be put under more pressure as this specialist clinic is due to close this year.

The reasons sighted for it’s closure is as follows:

“An independent review condemned the clinic as “not a safe or a viable long-term option” because its interventions are based on poor evidence and its model of care leaves young people “at considerable risk” of poor mental health. The clinic must close by Spring 2023.”

Personally I’d say that by closing the clinic this exposes people to greater risk the my keeping the service open and improving it!

But repairing things in this country is not the done thing anymore.

More information about this closure can be found at this website : https://segm.org/UK_shuts-down-worlds-biggest-gender-clinic-for-kids#:~:text=An%20independent%20review%20condemned%20the,must%20close%20by%20Spring%202023.

In reality the closure of this clinic is just going to put more stress on the other clinics who will be required to take up the slack of this now closing clinic.

Longer waiting lists

This will lengthen the waiting lists even more and it would not suprise me if patients using and waiting for Tavistock get lost in the transfer!

This is just my personal opinion but I would love to know what goes on in the psyche of NHS management that close parts of its service when the standard of care falls below that which is required.

Why do this instead of fixing this failure within that service?

Perhaps somebody can tell me why?

Others I know, as I, are now seeking help outside the health service because of the waiting list times which are inturn adding pressure to the private clinics and some of the services I use have got longer waiting times than in years gone by.

Now, if you are reading this and asking yourself should I go private? Then all I will say is, if you can afford it, then yes.

Yes because….

The benefits to your mental health are immeasurable compared to the detriment of waiting for the NHS to provide you an appointment.

That’s because your not waiting for the NHS to provide you with a service but to provide you with an appointment!

There is a massive difference.

Will it benefit you financially?

Definitely not! But which do you value more?

Please don’t forget that even once you have an appointment to see an NHS specialist the likelihood of you getting the treatment that you require is remote or will not be quick.

If you need to go and speak to somebody, then pay to go and speak to somebody!

If you need to self medicate, self medicate. Find the clinic who will assess you and provide you with the treatment that you require.

It’s also a good idea to keep going to your doctors, keep speaking to your doctor and if your doctor doesn’t listen change doctors!

The financial cost of going private for me far outways the mental health issues of waiting for the NHS to tick a box to tell me what I can do with my body and maybe offer help! Maybe!

A lot of my trans friends who are further down the road than I, have all paid for their treatment. We are not a burden on the NHS despite what the media may tell you.

Weigh up your options, do your research, speak to your GP and get their opinion (and it will be an opinion*) and once you have all this information make an informed choice.

* Your GP is a general practitioner. The key is in the name, and many of the doctor’s I have spoken to over the past 3 years know very little about transgender people.

I do not want to cast aspersions on GP’s in general but when the doctor you are sat in front of says that I’m remarkably well informed, it means that they probably aren’t!

Your GP is the gatekeeper to NHS services not the healer of all ills!

Do what’s best for you and I’ll repeat that, do what is best for you!

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Mikki Tiamo

Welcome to Mikki's profile on Mikki's website.

I am Mikki Tiamo and this page is just some of the articles, posts and gripes I have written.

Hope you like them and if you don't, C'est La Vie!