Expect inclusive practice: Policies and processes

Having trans inclusive policies and processes makes it clear to all staff that they are expected to work in a trans-inclusive way. Well written policies and processes will also help to ensure a consistent approach across the hospital.

The content of each individual policy or procedure will depend on its purpose, but it is good practice to:

It is good practice to use the pronouns ‘they’, ‘them’ and ‘their’ unless it is a policy that is specifically talking about men or women.

For policies and procedures that will typically relate to people of one gender (for example, in relation to perinatal care), additive language is useful. For example, you could refer to ‘mothers or birthing parents’.

Make it clear that discrimination is not acceptable in your hospital. It can be helpful to name the forms of discrimination and to give examples of each to ensure that all staff understand what they’re being asked to do (or not do).

As you’re developing a policy or process, do a sense check and ask yourself some key questions.

  • Is it clear that this applies to all of our patients, including trans patients?
  • Have we inadvertently excluded trans people?
  • Would the process need to be different for a trans person? If so, how?
  • How would this policy or process make a trans person feel?

There are a number of trans-focussed organisations and trans-inclusion consultants that can support with your sense-checking. This is something that TransActual can support you with.

Relevant policies and procedures may include:

  • Admission, transfer and discharge
  • Data protection and confidentiality
  • Equality, Diversity & Human Rights Policy
  • Procedure for checking pregnancy status
  • Record keeping
  • Same-sex accommodation policy
  • Staff code of conduct

Many NHS Trusts have a policy specifically on the care for trans patients, this can be incredibly helpful and can include matters such as:

  • Key terminology
  • Legal context
  • Staff behaviour
  • Confidentiality
  • Trans-inclusive language
  • Record keeping and correspondence
  • Ward accommodation
  • Provision of toilets and bathrooms
  • Additional privacy considerations
  • Protecting patients from harassment and discrimination

Policies and procedures on their own cannot make a hospital trans-inclusive. It’s the implementation of them that makes a difference to your trans patients. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure your staff have access to high quality training on trans-inclusive care.

It’s important to recognise that you may have trans members of staff and your policies should reflect that too. That’s beyond the scope of this resource, but you’ll find more information on being a trans-inclusive employer in NHS Confederation’s Leading for all: supporting trans and non-binary healthcare staff resource.

Errors or omissions

Is there something missing from this page? Have you spotted something that isn’t correct? E-mail info@transactual.org.uk to let us know.

A disclaimer: TransActual do not provide medical, health, or legal advice. The content of this page is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a medical professional. It is not a substitute for advice from a legal professional. We strongly suggest you consult a healthcare professional or legal professional for specific advice about your situation. TransActual do not advocate or recommend the purchase of any specific product and we do not endorse or guarantee the credentials or appropriateness of any health care provider, any product or any provider of insurance and legal services.

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