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Views And Reviews Personal View

Doctors are failing to help people with gender dysphoria

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 30 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1694
  1. James Barrett, consultant psychiatrist, Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic, and president, British Association of Gender Identity Specialists
  1. Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic, 179-183 Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8QZ
  1. James.Barrett{at}

Conservatism in treating trans people in primary care is unacceptable

The need for treatment for gender dysphoria worldwide has never been higher. Tens of thousands of UK residents are transgender, and the combined waiting list for the United Kingdom’s 11 NHS gender identity clinics is at least 5000 people, NHS England has told me.

With early and prompt treatment at a gender identity clinic, improvement in quality of life can be huge and can be sustained in the long term. And NHS England says that, considered purely in terms of quality adjusted life years per pound spent or the extent of patient satisfaction, gender identity clinics rank highly (a result of NHS England’s prioritising process in 2014).

So it seems odd that such effective treatment was ever considered a low priority—or that access to it should …

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