Healthcare for Liverpool’s trans community is set to be “revolutionised” following a major boost win.
Spirit Level transgender support group and its partners, Sahir House and the Central Liverpool Primary Care Network, have been awarded over £20,000 from the lottery fund, Transforming Futures Fund, to pilot a new approach to transgender healthcare – Trans Health Today.
The project will focus on training healthcare staff in primary care settings – particularly the doctor’s surgery – about what it means to be transgender, how said patients should be treated and the best form of care for them.
Spirit Level’s treasurer Kate Sanders, who lives in Fairfield, told the ECHO: “We want to spread understanding and use of the ‘informed consent’ model of healthcare for trans people in Liverpool. Informed consent means trans people understand their needs and are able to work in partnership with healthcare professionals to develop the best form of care for them.”
Alongside training, the project will also deliver trans outreach support and a series of well-being events – The Wellbeing Sessions -which will run between September 2023 and June 2024.
While the funding will be used to better the future of healthcare for the trans community, Sahir House will be expanding its counselling and affirmative care program “to address the immediate emotional needs of transgender people”.
Ant Hopkinson, chief executive of Sahir House, added: “It’s a great result for the transgender community of Liverpool now and especially in the future. We want to get away from trans people being challenged and healthcare delayed because of a lack of knowledge and understanding. The project builds on Sahir House’s already successful range of services to the LGBT+ community.”
A recent BBC News item reported in some areas trans people can wait up to seven years for an initial assessment and years more for the vital follow-up appointment that puts them on the road to a fully gendered life. The new form of training hopes to help ease the NHS waiting times by tackling low-level issues.
Kate added: “By understanding physical health is sometimes impacted by emotional ill-health – stress, anxiety, depression – we can try to tackle both at the same time. This will hopefully help the GP surgery to cope and revolutionise how we move forward.”