In an exclusive interview with Pink Saltire, the heads of the NHS Gender Identity Clinical Network for Scotland have admitted waiting times are a ‘real issue’.
Speaking to Oceana Maund for Pink Saltire, the Chair of the national network, Catriona Renfrew and Clinical Lead, Dr David Gerber, have acknowledged significant factors causing long delays for patients.
As the number of referrals to Gender Identity Clinics (GICs) across Scotland increase, waiting times for a first appointment with the specialist service have stretched way beyond the 18 week target, with many waiting over 50 weeks.
They also outlined a number of steps, including investment in new staff and support for GPs, to help reduce the impact on patients. Health bosses have committed to review their demand forecasts to understand whether the service will have the capacity to deal with even more patients coming forward in the future.
In a surprising but welcome development, David Gerber discussed the steady increase in primary care practitioners being involved in hormone prescription for patients without an initial appointment at the specialist GIC clinics. Dr Gerber said a number of GPs had now contacted him direct to seek advice and guidance, being armed with more knowledge and understanding of trans and non-binary issues.
Watch the full interview and have your say. Are the NHS doing enough for trans and non-binary patients?