Yesterday, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published it’s report into Trans healthcare. (Word document) It’s specifically Transsexual healthcare, with a GRS focus, because although other issues have been identified it is probably unsurprisingly access to surgery that is the one big thing that is highlighted repeatedly as an issue.
Much of the report will be unsurprising to anyone who has a passing familiarity with the situation: Despite it being unlawful to ban Trans healthcare, (Or do anything that is effectively a ban) there is still a postcode lottery when it comes to services available, with some areas being excellent and others incredibly poor. The EHRC even had problems obtaining the necessary information from the NHS in one region, so what hope do us mere mortals have? (Although one could just FoI it – possibly worth it, just to see if they were trying to hide something…)
The report also claims that Leeds requires just 3-6 months real life experience (RLE) before surgery and in exceptional cases, just one month which seems… unlikely. What is more plausible is that guidelines vary enough that the EHRC struggled to understand them all and compare like with like, and Leeds require 3-6 months RLE prior to hormones.
One fact they have uncovered that is worthy of note is the low number of regretters. It’s claimed that of all the patients that have gone through Charing Cross in the past 20 years, only three have “reverted to their original gender”. The exact definition here is unclear, but appears to be where someone has undergone surgery and then changes their mind, legally changing their name back. This certainly puts paid to claims of vast hordes of regretters out there and is in line with what I would expect: When pushed for names and sources, the “regretters” tend to be the same small handful of people we see over and over again, not all of whom have “reverted”.
The aim of the document was to identify possible future directions for NHS gender care after the upcoming reforms. The main point they make is that there will be more centralised oversight and control of policies for specialist items such as GRS, so that the regional lottery of care should at the very least be substantially reduced. It’s suggested
And finally, there’s some talk of holding GPs “accountable” (A code phrase for initiating complaints against GPs unwilling to treat Trans patients) and continuous professional development, i.e. ensuring GPs that graduated decades ago are up to date on what is available.