Summary of report content
Between April and December 2017 225 Trans and Non-Binary people from Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, Wiltshire and other areas in the South West took part in an online survey, interviews and focus groups. Participants were recruited, through a range of methods, including social, community and support groups; online and through social media.
Trans people face a significant amount of hostility in society, and the health care system is a contributing factor. Trans people have very poor mental health compared to the rest of the population. Over seven in ten people were receiving medical help for anxiety or depression, 57% had self-harmed, 70% had suicidal thoughts and feelings and 41% had planned suicide. Two in five had received addiction support.
Over half had been referred to a Gender Identity Clinic. Some had gone to private services, largely because NHS waiting times were too long. Over half had to wait up to a year to be seen by a Gender Identity Clinic, and a quarter between a year and three years. Over three in ten were still waiting for their first appointment at the time of responding to the survey. Not all trans and non-binary patients want/need the same type of medical treatment including: hormone therapy, gender surgery, breast reduction or augmentation. Most people reported that that their medical transition had taken/would take up to 4 years.
One in five people said they felt unsafe as a trans or non-binary person in their local area. Three in five said they had felt discriminated against because of their gender identity. Most had been called names in the street.
One in three had felt discriminated against when accessing health care services, including by their GP. Trans people often have to rely on word of mouth to find sympathetic health care professionals. Those Trans people who live in small, isolated and rural communities often have few choices available.
The report contains 19 recommendations about training, anti-discrimination policies in healthcare, specialist support, access to treatment, further research and challenging transphobia.