"Treatment received as a Transgender patient "

About: 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

I was referred to see a specialist by my (now former) GP Dr. Gunaseelan at Widnes Health Centre in July 2011.

From October to January, I attended appointments three times in order to obtain a letter saying that I do not have any underlying mental health conditions that may be causing my gender dysphoria (I am female to male transgender).

My third visit, in January 2012, I finally saw the specialist (the prior two appointments were carried out by his associates). The specialist, in my opinion, was quite rude and unsympathetic to my problems, asking me how I present in public. My response was that I present as male whenever I am not at home.

They then asked me which public toilets I use. I informed them that since I present as male, I use the male toilets, to which they said "Well, no offence, but you don't look like a man and if I saw you in the male toilets I would tell you that you were in the wrong one."

This is very offensive and is a personal opinion, which should not be stated in such a situation.

I informed them that my first appointment with a gender specialist is in early February and that my GP would need a letter within the next week so that they could type a referral letter of their own to the specialist I will be seeing. This doctor told me they would have the secretary type it up and that my GP would receive it by the end of this week.

Today, I went to see my GP and was informed that they have not received the letter from the specialist I saw. Upon inquiring at the specialist's office, the secretary told me that she is backlogged, the doctor didn't inform her that my letter was to be rushed, and that she won't have it typed up until "next week sometime".

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Responses

Response from Dave Thompson, Assistant Director of Inclusion & Partnerships, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I am sorry that the experience caused you distress. Thanks again for making time to discuss this further with me today over the telephone.

I’m pleased to hear that you have now received our letter, and that you have agreed to meet with me next week to discuss plans whereby we can use your experience to raise the awareness of transgender amongst our staff.

The author of our Transgender Service User Policy welcomes your kind offer to work with us to develop guidelines for staff on the practical application of the policy. I can also confirm that our Director of Medical Education welcomes your offer to assist us in delivering a training session during a future meeting of the Trust’s Joint Academic Forum.

Once again, may I thank you for agreeing to work with us, using your experiences to influence changes in our service delivery.

Best Wishes

Dave

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