Forever delayed

Trans Health UK has posted an update on the few services gender clinics are currently providing. It’s summarised in this image:

Look at that bottom row: that’s the current waiting time for a first appointment. Not a prescription or a referral to anything; just a first assessment. The trend was obvious long before COVID-19 came along: trans healthcare is in crisis.

In Exeter the wait is currently four years; in Belfast the waiting list has grown so long it isn’t accepting any new patients.

This is the reality of supposed “fast-tracking”, of people being “rushed” through the system. It’s years of waiting for a first appointment, then waiting list after waiting list for any kind of treatment.

Here’s an example from my own experience. This was when the waiting times for my local gender clinic were 1/3 what they are now.

Waiting time for initial assessment: 11 months
Waiting time for second assessment: 4 months
Waiting time for assessment for counselling: 2 months
Waiting time for first counselling session: 10 months

That’s three years for a first counselling appointment – and that first waiting period of 11 months is now 31 months, so God knows how long trans people have to wait for counselling now. I’ve been told that the waiting times for surgery are currently measured not in months but in millennia.

In a better world this would be a scandal. But in this one, people actively campaign to make trans people’s healthcare even harder to access.



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