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?