The Health Commission Wales (HCW) will allow transgender patients in Wales to access funding for gender reassignment therapy, it has been announced.

Before the change in policy,individuals had to prove “exceptional circumstances” before applications for treatment of gender dysphoria could be funded.

Treatment for gender dysphoria can include surgery, hormone therapy, counselling and speech therapy.

The Welsh Health Minister’s decision to approve a new policy means that Wales has now followed in the same footsteps as other parts of the UK.

A spokesman from the HCW told the BBC:

“We have been working with the Gender Trust on the development of a policy for accessing this treatment in Wales.

“The policy will enhance access to treatment under clear access criteria.”

Benjamin Thom, vice-chair of the Gender Trust, said:

“Welsh trans people had been dramatically affected by the policy, leading to suicide attempts, public abuse and financial ruin.”

It is estimated that around five trans people a year will seek gender reassignment in Wales.