Open Collective
Open Collective
Trans Wales Partnership Updates
Published on June 2, 2023 by Keira Evans

Trans Aid Cymru is part of the Trans Wales Partnership, basically meaning we're able to feedback to the Welsh Gender Service and Umbrella Cymru regarding community issues. These meetings are every month and we're hoping to share the notes we take during them so the wider community is aware of what's going on behind the scenes.  

The WGS has had an average of 106 referrals per month. This is a steady increase over time. The wait time for a first appointment is currently at 13 months, they’re expecting the wait time to stabilise here as kids in GIDS age out. London has also found some Welsh people on their wait list that were added by accident, so they will be repatriated to the Welsh service and their wait backdated.

They’ve had some new psy hologists and are hoping to get them used to the roll before they consider hiring anymore.

The WGS has seen the UN response to their UK visit. They’ll be waiting for the full report and recommendations.

We raised the issue of many people not knowing how to get seen by voice therapists. The route is through your GP, you do not need to have been seen by the Welsh Gender Service to have access to this.

We also raised concerns that the amount of voice therapy appointments people was getting is inconsistent. It was explained that the voice therapy teams are funded by local health boards, so the funding and number of appointments come under the health board. For people wanting to kick off about this and make noise, you would need to contact:
· Concerns department of the local health board
· Community health council
· Assembly members

WGS acknowledge they’re behind a bit on emails right now, due to an influx of enquires but they’re working through them.

Trans Aid Cymru also raised concerns that trans people were waiting long amounts of time to be seen by local gender teams. We asked how people can complain, and draw attention to this, and why is the delay happening.

WGS explained that a common issue is that patients haven’t had their baseline bloods done in the time between their first WGS appointment, and their first appointment with the local gender team. They’re strongly encourage patients wanting hormones chase this up with their GP, as it can cause an extended delay if they don’t have them done before their appointment with the local gender team. The letter from WGS after patients are seen should fully explain this, but it’s easily missed.

Once patients are stabilised on their hormones, they’re handed from the local gender team to their GP to take over hormone prescribing. We’ve had several service users whose GPs have refused to take over. If this happens WGS recommends emailing them, with details of the GP practice so they can liaise with them to see if it’s possible to get the prescription handed over.
Patients with Cym Taff’s gender team had been told the service was closing, and not accepting new patients. They’d been told this was due to two trans patients behaving badly. We asked for clarification on this, and what is happening to patients care.

The issue has arisen due the practice taking on trans patients outside of their own catchment area as part of a local gender team’s role. Unfortunately, the practice no longer has the resources to continue doing this. Two trans patients were disruptive to staff, and this seemingly was the last straw on top of the extra admin work that staff weren’t necessarily being paid for. The practice’s partners voted and decided to end the local gender service being run out of their practice.
However, doesn’t mean the area won’t have a gender team anymore, it will just be out of a different site. The planned site is Dewi Sant community hospital and should have opened before now but they’re facing delays.

We raised concerns that information wasn’t being shared with the community effectively, and the WGS mentioned that they do have a newsletter available here. 
They’d stopped updating, as they didn’t feel it was being read. Due to GDPR they can’t email the newsletter out directly, only add it to the website. We mentioned that we’d love to be emailed when that is done, so we can share it with the wider community.