LGBTQ+ History Month: Why We Need To See Improvements in Trans+ Healthcare

LGBTQ+ Officer
Tuesday 13 February 2024 10:09

According to the Trans Report by Stonewall published in 2018, 11% of trans people reported going abroad to attain hormones or undergo gender-affirming medical procedures, as well as self-medicating with hormones obtained on the internet. Another 17% of trans people are actively considering these options. This is a result of inadequate and inaccessible healthcare for trans+ people, some resulting in life-threatening implications.

Although 44% of trans people in the UK are optimistic about future improvements in trans+ healthcare and rights, 30% are worried about the current deterioration of LGBTQIA+ rights. The impact of violent attacks against trans+ people in the media and limited support from government authorities results in pessimism with the direction of trans+ welfare.

Increased cognisance and comprehension of trans+ individuals’ medical requirements are necessary for the NHS to provide high-quality care and assistance. A lack of mandated training for both new and current clinical and non-clinical NHS employees has impeded their capacity to develop the self-assurance required to provide successful treatment for trans+ patients. Nearly a quarter of trans+ people who reach out to their GP for help experience issues with being refused treatment or misunderstood.

Apart from the skills gap, the lack of NHS data on trans+ individuals has serious consequences. An inability of the NHS to identify issues and advocate change is partially a result of existing systems being unable to record trans+ statuses in a consistent and inclusive manner, among many other issues.

Many trans people have been advised to bend their truth to adhere more to the medical model for the treatment of transgender patients in order to receive help from professionals. This perpetuates the idea that a rigid model for trans healthcare exists and there is a “right” type of trans person to prioritise in accessing healthcare.

A recommendation by the London Assembly Health Committee integrates a consultative group comprising London residents with lived experience with regards to transitioning. This provides an opportunity to consider the myriad of intricate health inequalities in trans+ healthcare, subsequently driving efficacious improvements in healthcare provision by the NHS and partner organisations. Further research in association with the NHS into the diverse healthcare needs of trans+ people in London would be immensely useful to identify areas of focus for the London Health Board and healthcare providers in the treatment of trans+ people.

Read more about the Trans Report by Stonewall here.

Read more about improving access to healthcare for trans+ persons here.



Haru Yeoh (he/him)

Trans+ Representative of the LGBTQ+ Network