Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group Working to Improve Services for LGBT+ Patients

Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working to improve the healthcare services that LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) people receive in the borough during June’s Pride Month and beyond.

The aim is to ensure GPs and other healthcare professionals are equipped to give the best patient centred care to everyone in the Trafford community.

In April, GPs across Trafford attended a training session on trans issues. The session was led by Aimee Linfield, Pride in Practice Coordinator for the LGBT Foundation and endocrinologist Dr Peter Hammond, of the Leeds Transgender Service.

Topics covered included:

•           An overview, with statistics of incidence and prevalence

•           Definitions and language, coding and medical record keeping issues

•           Where and when to refer a patient with gender dysphoria

•           Assessment processes for an individual (waiting for an assessment)

•           When in the process are hormones initiated – side effects/expectations

•           Longer term follow up and health issues to be aware of in this cohort of patients

•           Rules around screening – mammography/cervical etc and issues with the process.

Ms Linfield said: “Trans and non-binary people have always been there but there’s a lot of misinformation out there. It’s about patient-centred care and asking what this person wants or needs.”

Dr Hammond said: “It was very encouraging that GPs were requesting to be upskilled in hormone prescribing for transgender individuals. There has been a rapid increase in transgender people accessing NHS hormone treatment and this can only be sustained by close collaboration between specialist centres and primary care.”

Ms Linfield is working with GP practices in the borough, helping them attain an accredited Pride in Practice award and demonstrating a commitment to be fully inclusive and achieve excellence in healthcare and strengthening relationships with this community.

Staff receive training around LGBT+ inclusion, which provides information on how to provide appropriate service to LGBT+ people, support around gender identity, trans status and sexual orientation monitoring, myth busting and confidence building with staff around terminology and appropriate language.

Clinicians are also provided with information on conditions of high prevalence in LGBT+ communities, such as sexual health, mental health, cervical screening for lesbian and bisexual women, referral pathways into LGBT Foundation Services and legal rights of LGBT+ people.

They are also made aware of participating services with the LGBT+ community, to reduce any potential fears or perceptions of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia within these services.

So far seven services have received training and it is hoped all will participate.

Dr Liz Clarke, Clinical Education and Mental Health Lead at Trafford CCG and a Sale GP, said: “We want to be inclusive and make all our patients feel valued and listened to. GPs like to be able to give sensible advice on a wide range of topics, so if a patient comes to them saying they are transgender we want to have the correct information to give them.”

LGBT Foundation is a national charity delivering a wide range of services to lesbian, gay and bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities and Pride in Practice is a quality assurance service designed to strengthen and develops the relationship between primary care practices and LGBT patients within their local community.

Dr Peter Hammond and Aimee Linfield