May 28, 2022

Data verified by NHS Scotland reveals that waiting lists for young trans people to see a gender specialist are growing rapidly.

The number of under-18s on the waiting list for youth gender services at Sandyford Clinic has increased from 151 in 2017 to 903 this year.

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The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the increase and cove pressure had affected waiting times.

The number of people under the age of 18 on the waiting list for youth gender service at Sandyford Clinic has increased from 151 in 2017 to 903 in 2022.

The Glasgow-based clinic, the only specialized service for children, primarily helps transgender people to access temporary medical and surgical treatment.

The average wait to see a doctor is currently two years and three months.

This has led to concerns about young people going online for access to unregulated treatment.

Adolescent blocker prescription for suppressing sex hormones will only be prescribed on the NHS after a thorough diagnosis by an endocrinologist.

Hormones such as estrogen or testosterone are only prescribed in Scotland from the age of 16.

Eli Gomersal, chair of Scottish Young Greens, a 22-year-old trans woman, said the model of trans healthcare in Scotland was “not fit for purpose”.

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He said: “I personally have been on the waiting list for the initial appointment for 42 months till February 2022, and it seems that I still have many more months to wait, even once I have the initial appointment. If I do, it will be possible. Many years before I get the care I need.

“For many teens on the waiting list, puberty can cause their bodies to change irreversibly before they even appear, which can lead to massive discomfort.”

Dr Gregor Smith, Scotland’s chief medical officer, has ordered a review of Scotland’s gender reassignment protocol, acknowledging that services for transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people need to be changed.

Maggie Chapman, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Greens Equality, said: “It is vital that we provide timely and appropriate support and care for trans people, including young people under the age of 18 who provide sex and sexual health services. Looking for

“Reducing waiting times for trans healthcare and support was a commitment in the cooperation agreement that brought the Greens into government, and we are working to ensure that.

“The increase in the number of young people seeking these services reflects what is available and the supportive environment that allows people to come out.

“We must continue to work to ensure that people do not face discrimination or backwardness in their search for the services they seek.”

To cope with waiting times and to help those waiting for services, the Scottish Government plans to provide £ 9 million over 3 years with £ 2 million crisis funding for trans healthcare in this year’s budget.

However, Ms Gomersal said “the whole system is broken and in dire need of reform.”

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are working to relaunch the clinical service, including arranging meetings with those on the waiting list. Additional staff in the service. Recruitment is also ongoing. “

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