GP practices in Hull are improving experiences for transgender (trans) patients when they visit their doctor.
According to the LGBT Foundation, trans people are more likely to experience health inequalities. Nationally, trans people are three times more likely to attempt suicide and up to seven times more likely to use drugs. They are also nine times more likely to contract HIV.
Despite this, 57% of trans people reported avoided going to the doctor when unwell due to fear of prejudice and discrimination.
Hull Health and Care Partnership is now supporting practices in the city to be more trans inclusive.
This Transgender Awareness Week (13-19 November), doctors and their teams are advised what steps will improve experiences for trans patients. Guidance has been co-produced with trans people to provide GPs with advice on trans care, including information on fertility, contraception and mental health and wellbeing.
The guidance also stresses the importance of bridging prescriptions; a hormone treatment to bridge the gap whilst a patient awaits care at a Gender Dysphoria Clinic. Bridging prescriptions help to reduce the risk of serious mental health issues whilst patients await treatment.
GP practices will also display posters to show they are trans friendly, helping trans patients to feel safe to be themselves when attending appointments.
Care navigators and non-clinical staff are supported to play their part in improving trans patient experiences too. They’re provided with guidance on the correct use of terminology and avoiding use of gender specific terms such as sir and madam.
Erica Daley, Place Director, Hull Health and Care Partnership, said: “The health inequalities faced by transgender patients are significant and we are committed in Hull to improving their experiences of seeking care through their GP practice. In October we hosted a citywide learning session for all primary care staff to raise awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion issues in healthcare, with a large focus on trans and LGBTQ+ care. I’m also proud to say that a cohort of our staff very recently completed the LGBT Foundation’s Pride in Practice training.
“It is vital that everyone feels safe to access care through the NHS without fear of discrimination or prejudice and we are committed to continuing to learn, listen and share best practice to improve experiences for LGBTQ+ patients.”