Gender Recognition

House of Lords written question – answered on 25th June 2014.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Health), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to address transgender patient discrimination in the National Health Service.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to support transgender people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

We expect people with transgender issues to have the same access to National Health Service treatment, including mental health services, as anybody else in the population. Mental Health has been a priority for this Government for several years now. We made this commitment explicit in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which, for the first time, creates equal status for mental and physical health across Government and for the NHS and social care.

Since April 2013, gender identity services have been commissioned by NHS England. NHS England will continue to work with the transgendered community, clinical experts and stakeholders through the clinical reference group for gender identity services, to produce a single and consistent policy for the whole of England.

In order to ensure equitable access to services, an England-wide Interim Protocol was consulted on, developed and became operational on 1 November 2013. The Protocol is based on the previously published and well received Scottish Protocol. The Protocol relies on the publication of the Inter-Collegiate “Good practice guidelines for the treatment of adults with gender dysphoria” published at the end of October 2013. A fully consulted policy document and service specifications will be published during 2014.

In addition, NHS England has commissioned a review of transgendered patients’ access to the NHS. This review has considered all aspects of access to NHS services and is currently being finalised in readiness for publishing.

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