I approach this issue with particular regard to gender identity services, for which demand is growing at 20% per annum for adults and 50% per annum for young people. This growth is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. About 650, 000 people in the UK experience a significant degree of gender nonconformity, around 130, 000 may seek medical care and, as yet, 25, 000 have done so. The adult service is unable to cope with this growth.
Waiting lists for initial psychological assessment and, for those that need it, surgery are already unacceptably long (well over a year) and worsening. In a cash constrained NHS, the solution may not be simply to pour in more resources but to adopt a less expensive, but still safe, treatment model so that the expertise, especially in mental health and endocrinology, is disseminated within primary care, based on informed consent rather than gatekeeping
Gender identity is part of who we are. Those people who struggle with GID need appropriately trained professionals to support them in living a life which is in keeping with their gender identity. In doing this many social and mental health problems can be avoided. At the moment there are unacceptably long delays in access to GID clinics for both children and adult services and once in the system there can be long delays between appointments and accessing gender reassignment surgery.
GIRES puts the number in the UK at 300,000 with gender variance of which 80% are males with gender variance. GIRES informs that 10,000+ has requested GID Treatment. I would welcome more detals and fact to support the above statement as if my figures are correct then it is possible to review existing services and to my recommadations on how it could improve to reduce 50+ week waiting time for GID services/treatment/surgery.
In June I made an official complaint to NHS England regarding the waiting lists for gender realignment surgery. You can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/grscomplaint The legal requirement is treatment within 18 weeks of referral, yet currently the wait is 50 weeks at Charing Cross. See: http://tinyurl.com/cxwait Unless urgent action is taken, this will grow to waiting lists of 2 years for those referred in April 2015 and almost 3 years by April 2016. See: http://uktrans.info/grswait.pdf
Huge waiting times breach NHS Constitution!
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