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first welsh gender identity clinic
Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists

The first Welsh Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) will open in September in Cardiff, the Welsh government has said. The BBC reports that the health minister Vaughan Gething said that setting up the service was the "first step in enabling people to access services closer to home."

The GIC will be based in St David's Hospital, near Cardiff city centre. The plans to open a Welsh GIC were announced in August 2017 and the clinic was meant to be opened in April 2019. Currently, trans people in Wales are referred to a GIC in London. The Welsh government has previously been criticised for the delays in opening the country's first GIC.

Wales Equality Alliance, a trans rights group, wrote an open letter expressing anger at the delay and raising concerns about the impact this was having on waiting lists for GIC's and on the mental health of people waiting for treatment.

trans people facing three-year wait for first GIC appointment

The NHS says that the standard waiting time for a first appointment at a GIC after GP referral should be a maximum of 18 weeks. However, trans people in some parts of the country face a three-year wait for that first appointment. In May, it was revealed that, in Devon, patient numbers at Exeter's GIC had doubled and some had been on the waiting list for more than three years.

And experts warned a parliamentary committee in November 2018 that trans healthcare services were at breaking point. The UK Parliament's Women and Equalities Committee published submissions to an inquiry into LGBT healthcare, revealing the high level of concern about access to gender-related services. Trans people in the UK often have to resort to crowdfunding campaigns to fund their transitions, or use private trans healthcare providers to access medication.

One of the UK's most prominent online private trans health clinics, GenderGP, had to relocate to Spain earlier this year after two of its doctors were suspended pending investigation by the General Medical Council, leaving their trans patients facing an uncertain future.

Andy Garland Therapies - Counselling Cardiff - Mental Health Services Cardiff - Cardiff Therapists

The Local Health Boards in Wales are responsible for putting in place plans to ensure that appropriate Gender Dysphoria services are available for people in Wales with a Welsh GP.

The purpose of the All Wales Gender Identity Partnership Group is to advise the Joint Committee on:

- the model for Gender Identity Services;
- the lifespan clinical pathway for individuals with gender variance;
- gaps in provision of locally delivered services, for example, endocrinology;
- meaningful engagement with service users, gender identity support groups and providers;
- the quality of care and patient experience; and
- development of quality indicators and key performance indicators for Gender Identity Services.

As the current commissioners of the Adult Gender Identity Service, Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) is actively working with Cardiff & Vale University Health Board on the arrangements for the implementation of the Welsh Gender Team.

A date for the new service will be formally announced by Cardiff & Vale University Health Board shortly. In the meantime this will not affect any individuals who are due to be seen by the London Gender Identity Clinic and anyone who is currently on the waiting list will be sent an appointment at the Cardiff Clinic as soon as they are providing services. In addition, at this time the referral mechanism into the service remains unchanged. May we thank you for your continued patience whilst the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board service is being set up.

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