A special medical team will begin to offer care to trans people in Wales for the first time this Autumn.
The Welsh Gender team was promised by the Welsh government a year ago, and it will start seeing patients in October.
GPs will now be able to refer Welsh people directly to the new team. It means an end to routinely having travel to the GIC in London for treatment or assessment.
The Wales Equality Alliance campaigns for better health care for transgender patients in Wales. It believes there are about 400 people waiting to be seen by the GIC, and up to 100 who have been seen but can’t get their prescriptions.
The problem with prescriptions should be eased by the new service, because they will now be handled by a specialist GP. They will be based in the Cardiff area, because the Welsh Government says most people in need of the services live in that part of the country.
Fully integrated service planned
“Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in demand for transgender health services in Wales”, says the Welsh Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething.
“Today’s announcement is a positive step towards the fully integrated service I expect to be in place next year”.
The government says it’s been spending half a million pounds a year to improve gender services in Wales. The aim is to reduce travelling time, and waiting lists.
A big step forward, says Stonewall
The new service has been welcomed by Stonewall in Wales, who said they particularly welcome an end to having to be referred through mental health services..
“The creation of a gender identity service for Wales is a big step forward after years of campaigning by trans communities”, says their Policy and Campaigns Officer, Crash Wigley.
“As a next step, we hope to see the development of a gender identity service for children and young people”.