Wales failure to deliver on transgender clinic?
A lack of progress on a promised specialist clinic in Wales for transgender people is unacceptable, GP leaders have said.
Speaking at this year’s Welsh local medical committees conference, BMA Welsh GPs committee chair Charlotte Jones said the behaviour of officials and health boards involved has led to a loss of confidence.
The Welsh Government has said it is committed to the clinic.
Addressing GPs from across Wales, Dr Jones said: ‘The cabinet secretary announced in August 2017, a unique opportunity to deliver a holistic service in the main delivered by Welsh GPs with the necessary expertise, supported by a specialist Gender Identify Clinic based in Cardiff – the first in the UK to deliver such a model.’
Dr Jones said GPC Wales had engaged constructively over a long period to develop the service model.
She added: ‘This would have seen patients no longer needing to travel long distances to access the majority of their care, rather, they would have this provided close to their homes.
‘GPC Wales, at the behest of those developing the agreed model, sourced a network of interested GPs across Wales to provide the service.
'Sadly, since then, despite continuing pressure from GPC Wales, there has been no progress and, worse, a lack of transparency and seeming ongoing obfuscation as to whether there is a true appetite for delivering this service.’
Dr Jones said there was no other option but to go public with concerns regarding the development of the service to ensure the profession and transgender community were aware.
She added: ‘The time for engagement in good faith is over. Those involved in delivering the service need to take heed that an inferior service for the transgender community is unacceptable and not in line with what was agreed with the cabinet secretary, nor expected by the community and the GP profession.’
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: ‘We are committed to delivering improved healthcare services for the transgender community in Wales.
‘We expect all those involved in delivering this new service to work together to ensure it is a success.’