£1m for gender identity and eating disorder clinics in Wales
Funding agreed as part of budget deal between Labour and Plaid Cymru
Stonewall Cymru, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) equality charity, has welcomed a commitment of £1m for gender identity and eating disorder clinics announced as part of the deal between Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru on the Welsh Government’s draft budget.
Currently, trans people in Wales who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria can only access care by travelling to the West London Mental Health Trust Gender Identity Clinic in Charing Cross, London. Patients face long journeys, waiting times which frequently exceed the statutory limit and difficulties in bringing supportive family or friends to accompany them.
Working with trans equality activists from across the country, Stonewall Cymru has been campaigning for a gender identity service for Wales, and this was the headline in their manifesto for the 2016 National Assembly for Wales election.
Andrew White, Stonewall Cymru Director, said: ‘After years of campaigning by trans communities in Wales, it’s brilliant to see a real, financial commitment from Welsh Government to a gender identity service for Wales.
For too long, trans people in Wales have been denied access to essential and potentially life-saving healthcare and support in their own country. It’s testament to the hard work of many campaigners that trans healthcare was a key part of negotiations between Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour.
It is now up to all involved to work together to find a model that best ensures access to high quality healthcare close to communities in Wales. We look forward to working with trans people, NHS Wales, Welsh Government and Assembly Members towards this goal.’
The announcement comes as the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) today conducted a consultation day with trans people and medical professionals to evaluate different options for reform of trans healthcare in Wales.