Transgender Day of Visibility 2016

I am ‘out’ to very few people at present, but I wanted to mark this day by pledging that in 2017 my aim will be out to many.

My only other action today has been a letter to my GP asking that she agree to conduct the blood monitoring that my Gender Specialist requires in order to continue to prescribe my hormones etc. If she declines, I’ll have to dig deep and find the money myself.

Dear Dr XX

I am writing as a follow up to my sessions with Dr P and a referral to the WLMHT Gender Identity Clinic in December 2015.

Let me say at once that I was very happy with the support offered by Dr P. This letter is to request that the Practice provide on-going monitoring (i.e. blood tests) of  hormone therapy prescribed by a Gender Specialist Dr Helen W. I enclose a copy of a letter written by her to assist GP’s with Transgender Issues.

You may not be aware that referrals to the West London Mental Health Gender Identity Clinic now result in a delay of at least 13 months before a first consultation with a reported delay of some 6-7 months before a second consultation. Two consultations are required as a minimum before the team there will agree, or otherwise, a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria and authorise the patients Practice to dispense hormones. As Dr W explains not all those reporting Gender Variance experience  significant dysphoria. Referrals to the WLMH GIC are growing at an annual rate now exceeding 28%, a situation that is unsustainable.

At 67 years of age and with the delay implied above likely to be close to 2 years, I turned to the services of an experienced Gender Specialist, an NHS registered GP, Dr Helen W. After an in depth consultation and with the information gathered from the blood tests conducted to support the referral to the GIC, she issued a prescription for HRT and a T-blocker (Evorel 100 and Finasteride 5mg) Now after 3 months I need a blood test to monitor the levels of Testosterone and Estradiol. I hope that this Practice will agree to conduct those tests and make the results available to me for communication to Dr W. These tests are then repeated every 3 months with additional tests annually of  LFTs, Lipids, HbA1c (liver, cholesterol, diabetes) Prolactin, FBC (full blood count), U&E (kidney function), and BP reading.

You will have many patients for whom you prescribe and monitor HRT or Testosterone treatments, but I guess not so many gender variant patients. In these early stages of my transition I value especially the expertise drawn from experience that Dr W has, but I am keen to work closely with you, my assigned GP. I know Dr W is enthusiastic about assisting all GP’s feel confident in supporting such patients.

Comments, as always are welcome. What success have you had in persuading an NHS GP to prescribe and monitor hormones?

11 thoughts on “Transgender Day of Visibility 2016

  1. I hope your GP responds promptly. For odd historical reasons the forum I participate on for TS/TG is UK based with just a few of us in the US. It continues to alarm me how overburdened and underfunded the gender clinics are in the UK. I’m glad you’re able to get some help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I think a major part of the problem is that gender clinics here are funded by mental health trusts and staffed by psychiatrists. Their model is to look for gender dysphoria as a clinical diagnosis despite the current stance of the NHS that gender variance is ’caused’ by and ‘treated’ with hormones Gender Dysphoria is a term describing the discomfort or distress caused by this discrepancy. Not all gender variant people experience dysphoria. Gender Variance of course, describes a discrepancy between the gender a person identifies with and the gender and sex characteristics they were assigned at birth.

      There are GP’s willing and able to operate outside the old model and more will follow. Visit http://www.GenderGP.co.uk to meet one of the first.

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    1. Yes, I think that is a general condition. However in time I think more GP’s will gain that knowledge on maybe a regional basis and act as support to others. If you visit http://www.GenderGP.co.uk you’ll meet one of the first.

      It is an unavoidable truth that he will never gain that knowledge or experience unless he starts with you. Every day he prescribes and monitors HRT for menopausal cis women and less often testosterone for men. There is knowledge and support available for GP’s if only they will ask. Good luck if you choose to go back to him and gently challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Eleanor,

      I started self-medicating but very soon after found http://www.GenderGP.co.uk Dr Webberley is a GP in Wales with a private practice supporting folk like us. She is very approachable and I have nothing but praise for her.

      It seems just too easy for the status quo to continue however unjust and however bust it is.

      My local GP has gone quiet since I delivered my letter. I am hoping that she is giving it proper consideration and maybe even speaking with Dr Webberley, but I also fear that she will take the easy way out and rely on the policy of referral to West London GIC despite the fact that equates to a minimum 20 month delay when for other conditions it is a requirement in the NHS that one see a consultant within 18 weeks.

      Regards to you and Cal

      Michele

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am interested. Abergavenny is not outside our reach, at any rate. May I ask how much she costs? I would love at least to get the diagnosis, than I can apply for my gender recognition certificate as early as next year.

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