Why trans people go private

There’s a good piece by GenderGP head of patient services Adi Ni Dhálaigh Gourdialsing in PinkNews about trans people accessing private healthcare.

In 2016, the Women and Equalities Commission bravely and unreservedly found that: “The NHS is failing in its legal duty under the Equality Act in this regard. There is a lack of continuing professional development (CPD) and training in this area amongst GPs. There is also a lack of clarity about referral pathways for Gender Identity Services. And the NHS as an employer and commissioner is failing to ensure zero tolerance of transphobic behaviour amongst staff and contractors.”

Fast forward to 2020 and little has changed. We still have: No NICE guidelines on the medical interventions available for gender incongruence; no standards of medical education set for this area of healthcare by the General Medical Council; no continuing professional development (this is the responsibility of the Royal Colleges and Postgraduate Deaneries); no agreed standards of care for NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups; no UK-wide medical guidelines; and healthcare that is provided in super-specialised clinics, which are supposed to cater for just 500 patient cases per year.

I’ve been involved in a few consultations about trans healthcare recently and absolutely none of the issues being raised in the consultations are new. Trans people go private or self-medicate because in many parts of the UK the NHS tells them to wait nearly six years before they can discuss getting any kind of treatment.