Five key points on providing inclusive care to transgender and gender diverse patients
1. Not everything’s about gender
While transgender and gender diverse people may have specific health needs in relation to gender dysphoria or gender incongruence – their general health needs are the same as anyone else’s. As with any patient, it’s important that you continue to provide care to meet all their healthcare needs.
2. Ask don’t assume
Taking care to use the right name and title when you treat patients shows that you are treating them with respect. If you are not sure how you should address someone, ask them. Don't try to guess or assume.
3. Consider whether your patient is self-medicating
Due to long waiting times before patients are seen by gender specialist services, some patients are turning to self-medication. Encourage your patient to be open about their use of medicines obtained online. Discuss the risks with your patient and be aware of the compatibility of these medicines with anything else you prescribe.
4. Have a supportive approach to patients' requests to change gender indicated on their medical record
Adopt a supportive approach to patients’ wishes regarding the gender indicated on their medical record. A patient might request a change, so that their medical record reflects their gender identity, although some prefer to leave it unchanged.
5. Discuss screening options
Be mindful that changing the gender on a patient record could mean they won’t automatically be contacted regarding screening programmes associated with their sex assigned at birth. Discuss the implications of this with your patient and agree on what approach you'll take to their care as part of a shared decision-making conversation.
You can find more information on our Trans healthcare ethical hub page