"CX GIC First Assessment"

About: West London Mental Health NHS Trust / Gender Identity Clinic

(as the patient),

After waiting 10 months after my referral, and 14 months after first contacting my GP, I had the first part of my assessment at the GIC. The psychologist although friendly, spent the precious one hour allocated to asking me generic questions that could have been asked on a paper or online form. Each time I attempted to explain the detail of my own personal situation he looked at the clock and told me there was no time to talk about things. I really wanted to try a low dose HRT trial for a short period as a personal diagnostic aid in my decision to transition my gender. The psychologist simply said I needed to be living full-time in the other gender with legal name changes in place before they would consider any treatment for me, It felt that I had to prove I was worth their treatment by first destroying a life of almost 40 years, they claimed this would be 'easier'. I was never offered any of the therapy or counselling support the clinic claims to offer. I left feeling suicidal, and it was only with the support of family and the use of private medical services that I'm still alive today.

At one point I was asked how many times I had attempted suicide, it felt that a large number would have deemed me more worthy of treatment. If and when the time comes, there will only ever be one attempt.

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Responses

Response from Lee Wroth, Service Manager, West London Mental Health NHS Trust

Dear Tinkerbell1066

Firstly, we would like to apologise that you were left feeling as described above following your first appointment at this clinic, and we hope that you are feeling far better? It is certainly never our intention to make people feel as you did following your visit. We realise that making the step to even approach our service is hugely significant to all who do.

We unfortunately do have some questions that we need to ask at each stage of an individual's journey - which as you say could be asked in the form of a questionnaire - however, experience has taught us that these are better asked face to face.

We recognise that we will not always be able to address the wants and desires of all service users at that first appointment, however, we must ensure that we are doing the right thing for all who utilise our service, which means that we may not offer hormones or any referrals onward until we have met a service user on two occasions.

Whilst we understand that this causes anxiety for some, it is our experience that this approach works the best - though we are always open to suggestions as to how best we can improve upon anything that we do.

Some of the elements that you describe above we would like to investigate further and ask that you contact us directly to give a fuller account so that we may do that.

Regards

Lee Wroth Service Manager GIC

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