Trans inclusive healthcare? Trans people’s experiences accessing healthcare in the UK

In 2023/24 TransActual’s researchers interviewed a range of trans people about their experiences accessing healthcare in the UK. We asked them about their experiences accessing non-transition related care, although of course that did also come up in conversation.

TransActual’s report Trans inclusive healthcare? Trans people’s experiences accessing healthcare in the UK is the result of those conversations and subsequent analysis of them.

TransActual have used the findings of this research to produce a new resource for healthcare professionals: Trans Inclusive Hospital Care.

Both the research and the resource were created thanks to funding by The LGBT+ Futures: Equity Fund in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund.

Findings and recommendations

There were common themes across all eleven participants and gender identities on what a more inclusive, safe and comfortable healthcare provision would look like.

None of the suggestions require huge amounts of resources, most are based on existing good practice and available NICE guidance.

All suggestions reflect what has often been recommended in the international literature and therefore questions arise as to what the barriers to implementation and progression are – systemic or political?

The recommendations arising from this research can be summarised as:

  • Adapting systems to have preferred name/pronoun/lived gender clearly identified on patient records and notes.
  • LGBTQIA+ awareness incorporated into all healthcare and medical curricula and CPD.
  • Improvements to environments and communication materials that signal LGBTQIA+ people are both welcome and understood.
  • Better use of inclusive language across all services.
  • An understanding that beings trans+ identities do not need to be discussed for health issues that are not related to being trans+ (trans broken arm syndrome).
  • Better education and support for GPs and community nurses.
  • Greater LGBTQIA+ representation in the workforce and on patient voice panels.
  • A greater evidence base on experiences of targeted secondary care services such as oncology.
  • Research on experiences of UK tertiary care services.
  • Pronoun and rainbow badges and/or rainbow lanyards are small indicators that make a big difference.

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