Experiences of health & care in Sheffield’s trans community.

Healthwatch Sheffield, in partnership with local groups SAYiT and Transactive, has carried out an investigation into the experiences of trans people using health and care services in the city.
Person celebrating pride with Healthwatch

Findings include:

  • Waiting lists for treatment at Gender Identity Clinics are long and have a significant impact on mental and physical health. Many people feel at risk of suicide and self-harm, echoing national statistics that 41% of transgender people report attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population.Other people said they have used treatments bought online and without medical supervision.
  • A significant barrier faced by transgender and non-binary service users is fear of stigma. Negative experiences with healthcare staff make people more worried about accessing services in the future, whilst positive experiences during initial appointments can help people to feel supported through the process.
  • A general lack of awareness of gender identity within health and care settings. This includes LGBTQ issues in general, rights and entitlements, awareness of what services exist and the referral process.

Steve Slack, CEO of SAYiT shared his thoughts on the report:

‘We are pleased to have worked in collaboration with Healthwatch in producing this important and timely report. Whilst we know there are examples of good practice in some health settings, in terms of inclusive provision, we are also aware of shortcomings, too.

We welcome this report and sincerely hope that it will act as a catalyst in ensuring that the needs of transgender and non-binary people are more effectively and more sensitively met in all healthcare settings. It is vital that services respond to the needs of all of service users.

Transgender and non-binary people are not asking for special rights but just to be afforded respectful, inclusive and accessible services. We sincerely hope that services take on board the recommendations contained in this report.’

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