Response to Welsh Government Announcement

8th July 2019

We welcome the statement from Welsh Government on 8th July 2019 in which it is announced that the new Welsh Gender Team (WGT) will begin seeing patients in September this year. We also welcome the proposed period of engagement in July and August with key stakeholders to ensure that the service meets the needs of our Trans community. This engagement must be thorough and include full scrutiny of the proposed WGT business plan with significant changes made to address the safety and governance concerns we previously raised with Welsh Government and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board earlier this year. We understand from our sources that the health board is proposing to use untrained psychiatrists in the WGT instead of properly trained gender clinicians. This is a red line that cannot be crossed. The service absolutely must follow the new CP182 protocol. Being Trans is not a mental health condition. Pathologising Trans patients and providing unsuitable care causes serious harm. If it takes a little longer to assemble a suitable team, then so be it. Currently patients have access to gender clinicians in London via the existing CP21 protocol. Removing access to this service and using psychiatrists to plug the gap to meet a launch date will be a dangerous and unacceptable compromise.
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Background information:  The Wales Equality Alliance was established by activists and concerned transgender patients in Wales in 2018. Its aims are to advance transgender equality in all areas including ensuring equality of health care provision for transgender patients. It has both a watching and campaigning brief. On health issues, the Alliance has met with Vaughan Gething, the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care, and with the Cardiff and Vale UHB. The Alliance is supported by academics, key figures in Welsh politics and concerned members of the public.

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