A new Care2 Petition, authored by transgender woman Lily Madigan, calls on UK Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, Jeremy Hunt to provide funding to reduce waiting times for transgender people looking to access specialist services.
As of today, (June 23) the petition has gathered over 17,700 signatures.
According to the NHS the maximum waiting time for “non-urgent consultant-led treatments” should be 18 weeks from the day your appointment is booked or when the hospital receives your referral letter.
The BBC reports that for transgender people the wait has been much longer than the 18 week maximum, “Transgender people are waiting up to two and a half years for initial consultations at NHS gender identity clinics”.
In 2015, N. Nicole Nassbaum, former president of Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health and staff lawyer at Legal Aid Ontario said: “Trans people are at the highest risk of suicide and self-harm between the period that they’ve mentally decided to transition and when they complete their medical transition”.
“Timely NHS support is an issue of life or death for many trans people”, Lily Madigan writes in her Care2 petition. “The suicide rate of trans people is high, and receiving specialist NHS support quickly may make suicide less likely for some trans people.”
A 2017 Stonewall study focusing on LGBT students in schools and colleges in the UK found “eight out of 10 trans young people have self-harmed and almost half have attempted to kill themselves”.
To sign the petition, click here: