Primary Care Mental Health and Education
New guidelines on the treatment of people with gender dysphoria published
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has today (25 October) published new guidelines for the assessment and treatment of adults with gender dysphoria.
The best practice guidelines – which are endorsed by 13 separate organisations – have been drawn up by a multidisciplinary working group that included representation from psychiatry, endocrinology, gynaecology, urology, general practice, nursing, psychology, psychotherapy and speech and language therapy, as well as representation from patient groups. It is the first time that so many different groups have come together to agree a common set of guidelines.
Gender variance is not uncommon, and the number of people seeking treatment in Gender Identity Clinics is increasing rapidly. A survey of 10,000 people undertaken in 2012 by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that 1% of the population was gender variant to some extent – though this figure cannot be assumed to be representative of the whole population. Historically, more women sought treatment than men, but this difference is reducing.
People often find it difficult to confide their feelings of gender dysphoria to their GP because they fear ridicule, guilt or shame, or are concerned about delays in getting treatment on the NHS. This has led to increasing numbers of people self-medicating using hormones and hormone-blockers available via the internet.
The guidelines make a series of recommendations to ensure gender dysphoria patients get the best possible care
Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro, a GP and Member of the Guideline Working Group, said: “I’m very pleased that this Good Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Adults with Gender Dysphoria, a collaboration between a range of royal colleges and stakeholders, has finally been published. As the Royal College of General Practitioners representative, I believe that this guideline will help to improve access to treatment for adults with gender dysphoria and will promote inclusion in the primary care setting.”
Please distribute this guideline amongst your contacts
Dr Henk Parmentier