Trusted health specialists in the UK have been accused of peddling “misleading” gender identity advice, while a gender identity specialist at London’s Royal London Hospital is under fire after she called for doctors to “stop” referring to patients as women.
The advice is not based on science, says Trusted Health UK, which has criticised the practice.
But the practice is not unique, according to the charity, which says there are more than 20,000 NHS gender identity specialists across the country.
“We are concerned about the use of gender identity in healthcare,” said Trusted Healthcare UK’s CEO, Caroline Green.
It is an area where the NHS needs to look at itself more carefully, she added.
Trusted Health says the practice has been criticised in a number of countries for encouraging doctors to use gender identity labels, but that it has been allowed to continue despite this.
According to the organisation, some NHS gender identification services include “in-person assessments” where a person can undergo gender reassignment surgery, but there are also a number where gender identity assessments are conducted at home.
However, it has also been alleged that gender identity services at some hospitals have not been following the guidelines in place.
Green said the practice should be investigated and called for an independent review of its practices.
We are worried about the misuse of gender ID labels by gender identity experts.
Trusted Care UK chief executive Caroline Green said the advice should not be given to doctors to stop referring to women as ‘women’The NHS should investigate gender identity claims and refer doctors to independent health professionals for advice, Green said.
NHS gender identity expert Helen White told The Independent she was “deeply concerned” by the practice of gender identification advice.
She said: “I have seen doctors being advised to stop treating women as women when they are actually treating women.
It’s not right.”
White said she was not aware of any guidelines that would allow for the practice to continue.
In a statement to the BBC, Trusted Heath said: “We recognise that the NHS has been dealing with issues surrounding gender identity for a number, and we have been doing everything possible to make sure we have a zero tolerance approach.”
We take the concerns raised by the women in this article very seriously, and will be taking immediate action to investigate.
“”The NHS needs a culture of trust, which is why we are committed to ensuring that gender ID specialists are fully trained, and are fully able to provide expert advice to patients.”
In the UK, there are currently more than 1,200 gender identity clinics, which can provide gender reassignments for a variety of reasons.
They are typically run by private healthcare companies and have a minimum of one in each NHS district.
There are no national guidelines on the use or advice given to gender ID experts in the NHS, and experts in some NHS areas say the practice may be not working.
An NHS consultation paper published in June 2016, published by the Department of Health, said the NHS was “not in a position to make a blanket statement” about gender identity but highlighted the need for better training and better communication.
This includes guidance on gender identity, but also the need to recognise “that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to gender reassigmentation.”
It also stated that gender identification is “the primary method for gender reassection surgery, which provides the best outcome for patients”.
The paper also said: The NHS has a duty to protect the health of its patients and that is why it has introduced new policies and procedures in response to growing concerns about the risk of self-harm, suicide and gender dysphoria.
A consultation paper from 2015 also recommended that transgender people who seek gender reassigned surgery should not undergo surgery in the first place, citing the possibility of “psychological harm”.
In the US, the American Psychiatric Association said in a 2016 report that gender dysphoric people can face “systemic barriers to accessing health care”.
It noted that gender nonconforming people often have difficulties accessing mental health services and that there are no “gold standards” for gender identity.
Gender identity experts have been asked to take part in a new gender identity workshop, scheduled to take place this week.