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Trans groups to campaign over ‘draconian’ gender clinic rules

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  1. I can honestley say that I cant belive what I have just been reading with regard to Leeds GIC. over 12months ago my partner approached our pct with regard to accessing a GIC they pointed us in the direction of Leeds GIC, so we did some research and most of what we were reading was like this article about the way you are expected to dress and such forth as the article goes on, we expressed our concerns to the pct and they arranged an informal meeting with the consultant and manager, we took all the evidence of what was being said about them and questioned them for nearly 2 hours, only to find that most of what was being said was not true, however they did tell us there were areas needing to be addressed and they were dealing with them, we have been with Leeds GIC just under a year and are now awaiting to see consultant in june for second opinion, never have they commented on having to get permision for beauty treatments or dictated on how my partner should dress, I find some of the article very hard to belive in this day and age, maybe 5 or 6 years ago perhaps but the laws now govern how we conduct ourselves as a society, judging by the masive ammount of comments, there is not about this article other people must feel the same way as I do about Leeds GIC, from my point of veiw they are a good service.

  2. And not so long ago, Charing Cross did exactly the same, thankfully that’s changed.

  3. Jamie-lee Kelsall 7 May 2009, 8:06am

    I read your article about Leeds identity gender clinic, I have been at Leeds for over three years, and they gave me opportunity for the operation, now I am a post operative transsexual, Leeds have allowed me to get my dream, I do voluntary service at Leeds, and I tried to help other transsexuals get their dream, I have wrote papers about the operation, and to help transsexuals in their job, and I find Leeds to be professional and helpful, I used to go to Charing-Cross. Leeds is a lot better place for treatment of transsexuals, they have a care plan what transsexuals most complete, and they make sure that it is the correct decision for you, I think this is one of the biggest issues of transsexualism, that the operation is correct for the patient, because I have seen people who have had the operation and regretted their decision, and I do not want to see any more people like this, I have never been asked at Leeds, to wear any different clothing, Leeds have never told me any of this, in the three years I’ve attended, but a lot of transsexuals expect the operation straight away, I don’t know who has published an article on your column, but I have add at Leeds is help, I cannot say anything bad about Leeds, they have been wonderful with me, it looks like you need to ask other people, what they think about Leeds gender identity service, I am very disgusted In the person that put this down on your website,I do Apologise if the spelling or grammar is not correct, I am severely dyslexic, and I use a computer to put my words down on paper,
    Jamie-Lee kelsall

  4. From the glowing testaments to Leeds GIC’s flexibility and the compassion it is supposed to have for the patients under its care I think I must have stepped into a Leeds GIC in a pararell universe.

    The sum total of support given to me by the GIC while on the waiting list amounted to a pro forma letter asking me to inform them if I no longer required their services, thus an invitation not to help me but for me helping them with their book keeping. After twelve months I threw in the towel with the GIC and paid for my care and surgery, which in total took just a further twelve months. Not feeling inclined to be the GIC’s unpaid filing clerk I remained on the list and two months after surgery I finally had my first appointment at the GIC. I had expected regret that the system that they administer had been unable to provide care in under a two year and two month wait to commence treatment with them. But no having the tenor of the meeting was so why are you wasting our valuable time by turning up!

    The less than friendly meeting with the GIC staff led me to conclude that I had a lucky escape in not being placed in their care. Unfortunately fate had other ideas. Some nine months latter I developed a common enough genital infection amongst women, nothing specifically to do with gender surgery itself. But because I had gender surgery my GP felt needed my referral to a gender reassignment surgeon for a day operation. For some strange reason the PCT insisted that if I was to access a surgical consultant then I must be referred to him by the GIC. Now that was an absurdity in itself but as the infection was getting worse I went along with this on the premise that the GIC would simply refer me to a surgical unit. How wrong I was.

    If so far a simple matter of getting a referral for a common if painful infection had been mishandled by the PCT, the GIC transported the process to a realm of what could best be described as ‘Yes Minister’ meets George Orwell. Their concept of flexibility was to insist that before they could make a decision to just pass me on to surgeon I must undergo a full round of psychiatric assessment appointments. Potentially upto six of them spaced monthly. Their reasoning being that because I had never been one of their psychiatric patients and I was being processed, reluctantly, by a psychiatric unit it was imperative that they undertake a psychiatric assessment of me.

    For my part I repeatedly told them, I have no mental health issues I just want you to redirect me to a consultant and can we discuss the problem I have not the one I don’t have. Their reply was no and you must complete the 36 page assessment form if I was to progress through their system. Not seeing the relevance to the treatment of an infection of questions about my sexual orientation or that of my parents, or my income, or feelings about my gender. I refused to fill in anything but my name and age.

    After two appointments at which the ‘nurse’ wouldn’t discuss the problem I had and tried to tease out of me information about my personal life that was none of the GIC’s business they wrote me a letter informing me that ‘if you do not wish to engage in this process then we would then have to discharge you from this service’. I went to the third meeting and yet again I was given the same questionnaire and refused to fill it in. I was then sent a letter that said ‘you have indicated your intention not to engage in the assessment process, you are now discharged from the Leeds Gender Identity Service…We understand that you may wish to persue alternative routes and we wish you well with this’

    At that point I paid for the services of a solicitor who wrote to the PCT and they finally agreed to do what they should have done in the first place and send me to the correct consultant. I had a minor day operation and the problem was corrected. Yes the PCT screwed up quite royally and using logic in insisting that I went to a GIC that was as bizarre the GIC in refusing to acknowledge the reason why I was there. But as this article is about Leeds GIC, my own admittedly brief experience of them rather rings hollow their claim to be flexible never mind patient centred care. I too have heard the stories of others who have had much more harmful and jaw dropping encounters with them, from which Iam inclined to believe.

    Penny S, Dewsbury

  5. From the glowing testaments to Leeds GIC’s flexibility and the compassion it is supposed to have for the patients under its care I think I must have stepped into a Leeds GIC in a pararell universe.

    The sum total of support given to me by the GIC while on the waiting list amounted to a pro forma letter asking me to inform them if I no longer required their services, thus an invitation not to help me but for me helping them with their book keeping. After twelve months I threw in the towel with the GIC and paid for my care and surgery, which in total took just a further twelve months. Not feeling inclined to be the GIC’s unpaid filing clerk I remained on the list and two months after surgery I finally had my first appointment at the GIC. I had expected regret that the system that they administer had been unable to provide care in under a two year and two month wait to commence treatment with them. But no having the tenor of the meeting was so why are you wasting our valuable time by turning up!

    The less than friendly meeting with the GIC staff led me to conclude that I had a lucky escape in not being placed in their care. Unfortunately fate had other ideas. Some nine months latter I developed a common enough genital infection amongst women, nothing specifically to do with gender surgery itself. But because I had gender surgery my GP felt needed my referral to a gender reassignment surgeon for a day operation. For some strange reason the PCT insisted that if I was to access a surgical consultant then I must be referred to him by the GIC. Now that was an absurdity in itself but as the infection was getting worse I went along with this on the premise that the GIC would simply refer me to a surgical unit. How wrong I was.

    If so far a simple matter of getting a referral for a common if painful infection had been mishandled by the PCT, the GIC transported the process to a realm of what could best be described as ‘Yes Minister’ meets George Orwell. Their concept of flexibility was to insist that before they could make a decision to just pass me on to surgeon I must undergo a full round of psychiatric assessment appointments. Potentially upto six of them spaced monthly. Their reasoning being that because I had never been one of their psychiatric patients and I was being processed, reluctantly, by a psychiatric unit it was imperative that they undertake a psychiatric assessment of me.

    For my part I repeatedly told them, I have no mental health issues I just want you to redirect me to a consultant and can we discuss the problem I have not the one I don’t have. Their reply was no and you must complete the 36 page assessment form if I was to progress through their system. Not seeing the relevance to the treatment of an infection of questions about my sexual orientation or that of my parents, or my income, or feelings about my gender. I refused to fill in anything but my name and age.

    After two appointments at which the ‘nurse’ wouldn’t discuss the problem I had and tried to tease out of me information about my personal life that was none of the GIC’s business they wrote me a letter informing me that ‘if you do not wish to engage in this process then we would then have to discharge you from this service’. I went to the third meeting and yet again I was given the same questionnaire and refused to fill it in. I was then sent a letter that said ‘you have indicated your intention not to engage in the assessment process, you are now discharged from the Leeds Gender Identity Service…We understand that you may wish to persue alternative routes and we wish you well with this’

    At that point I paid for the services of a solicitor who wrote to the PCT and they finally agreed to do what they should have done in the first place and send me to the correct consultant. I had a minor day operation and the problem was corrected. Yes the PCT screwed up quite royally and using logic in insisting that I went to a GIC that was as bizarre the GIC in refusing to acknowledge the reason why I was there. But as this article is about Leeds GIC, my own admittedly brief experience of them rather rings hollow their claim to be flexible never mind patient centred care. I too have heard the stories of others who have had much more harmful and jaw dropping encounters with them, from which Iam inclined to believe.

    Penny, Dewsbury

  6. Ever since I started out under the care of Leeds GIC I have never been told how to dress or how to act ,This unit performs in my eyes a wonderful service for anyone that needs it ,In fact contery to how a transsexual should behave or act ,I possibly destroyed that theory by carrying on in the employment that I enjoyed ,which was the construction industry as I used to drive excavators in my now full time female life .The staff at Leeds are careing and under standing ,sadly the nurse that I was seeing has left but has been replaced by a wonderful lady ,Yes it is nice to be able to get dressed up for these visits but not even a true genetic female go’s around like a strutting peacock all day,every day ,The clinic is a life line to many and they do not dictate how you should behave

  7. Jamie-lee Kelsall 11 May 2009, 5:53am

    I have read the comments on pink news, I cannot believe some people, they expect appointment straight away, they need to be more patient, things do not happen overnight, it took over two years to get an appointment, at Leeds GIC but it was worth it in the long run, the person who paid for their operation, was very impatient with their self, you find out how good your doctor is, when you have a problem, she should have insisted that, she goes to a surgeon, I don’t know how long ago this was, nobody put the date when they attended, I have not heard anybody say anything bad about the GIC,I have only heard by the comments, on the pink news, it would be nice to find out when they attended Leeds,

  8. I am astounded to read this article as it is the complete opposite of the treatment I have received myself at the Leeds GIC. I have only the highest regard and gratitude to all those who are part of the Leeds GIC and will always be indebted to them.
    I first requested a referal to a GIC in June 2003 and was told that I would have to have psychiatric evaluation prior to having a referal and that once that was completed I would have to wait a possible 3 years before being accepted. Everyone is aware of the lack of funding within the Mental Health Trust and as such I accepted the long wait. My first appointment was in January 2006 but during my three year wait I was contacted several times to be informed where I was on the waiting list. I also contacted them myself to enquire my position and was always treated with the utmost respect.
    Once I had started my treatment I had ample opportunities via anonymous questionaires to voice any concerns I had but I have never had any complaints. I have in my time made a suggestion as to any improvements that could be made as any other client can, so why did those who are makeing these complaints via the PFC, use the same resourses?
    I was never asked for any proof from my employer as to whether I was living in my chosen role but produced this anyway upon my first appoinment along with other proof, change of drivers license,passport etc, this just seemed like common sense to me so I don’t understand that complaint either. If you say you are living in your chosen gender why not provide proof unless you are lying! That point confuses me. Neither has my choice of clothing ever been questioned.
    Although the Leeds GIC does work within the Harry Benjamin Satandards they are not so rigid as to be unworkable, and as I understand it a new system of guidelines are being mapped out.
    The GIC has always worked around my work and personal commitments foremost, have been friendly and helpful in all areas. From the moment I entered their Care Pathway until leaving after surgery, my care worker consistently put my own needs first and made the journey as effortless for me as possible.

    I am equally suprised to read Penny’s comments, if you could afford to have your treatment privately why did you not inform the GIC that you no longer needed their services so that your place could have been given to someone who wasn’t as fortunate as yourself, rather than waiting your time just to make a point, which seems very childish and vindictive to me. Your comment that you have no mental health issues is in my opinion not only a veiled insult to other transexuals, but like your entire letter, which is mainly an argument against your PCT than the Leeds GIC sounds to me like sour grapes. You wasted 3 valuable appointments refusing to fill in a form that could have been given to another…….. and then still have the audacity to say you were treated badly!!! (Of no consequence really but did you have to put your comment twice… yawn!!!!!)

    The bottom line is this. I will always be greatful to the Leeds GIC and all the staff who work there and I hope these baseless comments, because I see no foundation in them at all, do not put others like myself off attending the Leeds GIC who provide a valuable service.

  9. One only has to read the contributions made by Leeds GIC people in the official minutes of regional meetings on gender care to see where they stand. It’s good if anyone achieves what they need through them, but they may not be seeing how it works for others, the real beliefs and activities behind the scenes. They also may not realise when they are being given harmful misinformation, which is a long standing problem with several UK gender clinics, and part of the controlling mindset being complained of. Whenever people speak hopefully on new standards of care coming, one knows they are victims of such misinformation, because that is a project of clinic staff from Yorkshire and the East Midlands and intended to impose much more of their control on all gender care in the whole of the UK. Fortunately they are currently stalled with lawyers, unsurprisingly, and hopefully terminally.

  10. Penny’s very significant story of Leeds GIC’s unethical behaviour stems from the gender clinics and the NHS administration conspiring to prevent patient choice in gender care, both for convenience and because they believe we should be controlled, or as they say “managed”. The PCT are subject to an exclusive, regional contract. They have to send all gender patients to Leeds GIC, who then wish to force them thought the same hoops, even when obviously inappropriate. This is to teach them them must be managed, like all other mental patients (and Leeds seriously believes we are all mentally disordered). But, post-SRS, Penny shouldn’t have been considered a gender patient at all (although several gender clinics are trying to have us classed as such life-long, since it would increase their control and build their businesses). It isn’t clear if that error is built into Leed’s exclusive contract (which is probably private “for commercial reasons”), but it seems likely.

    Only when the gender clinic refuses to treat can the PCT then refer elsewhere than to a location to which they are exclusively contracted, and that’s what happened. Leeds PCT should at least have provided that refusal at the very first approach, without Penny having to make one single visit. The fact that they didn’t, and put her through months of suffering, speaks volumes. And Penny’s is not an isolated story by any means.

    It has huge health ramifications, for example (and I hope none of these occur), if she develops diabetes she may hit the same procedure in order to see an endocrinologist. Or if she had a stroke and needed the help of a speech therapist. Or if she developed a quite unrelated mental illness, such as depression.

    Penny’s (and others’) best plan is probably to have her GP withhold anything marking her as having been TS from information that leaves the GP’s practice, and especially from the NHS national database, unless she specifically gives permission. So she gets treated as any other woman.

  11. Jamie-lee Kelsall 1 Jun 2009, 6:08am

    I think we should find out the true facts, we should compile a study, to find out what has gone on, what I have read does not justify this article, so we need to compile information from people who have been through the gender identity service, this will give us the true story, we need to find out when these happen, and if they was a long time ago, we should not be punishing this gender centre, we need to come together as a group, and work for the best way to move forward,

  12. Kate Anderson 12 Mar 2011, 7:38am

    I attended Leeds GIC seven years ago and I have never met a group of individuals who had such archaic views. I was instructed to attend the appointments in the appropriate attire of my intended gender. In their view it was to be a skirt, jeans they said was not acceptable. They also requested that I start my life test immediately even though at the time I could not do this at my then current employers as there was no diversity policy in place at that time. I would have lost my job and my livelihood.
    At a very emotional and fragile stage of my life, where I had finally admitted that I needed help and decided to turn to those who could guide me, I was faced with this.
    I realised later that it was only I that could make those decisions,but you should not be made to jump through hoops in order to ‘find’ yourself.
    I had been taking hormones through a private source for four years and they frowned upon such an approach. Hormones must not be taken until I lived en femme for two years.

    1. rose white 26 Apr 2011, 8:56pm

      there was plenty of protection for you to show your inner woman as the Gender Equality Duty ensured you could be your real self.

      1. David-Sarah Hopwood 10 Feb 2012, 5:24am

        Ha!

  13. David-Sarah Hopwood 10 Feb 2012, 5:23am

    Leeds GIC haven’t changed at all. They have done the *absolute minimum* required to comply with their statutory obligations on waiting times set by the NHS consitution. Actually, they have a brilliant wheeze for doubling the waiting time requirement — they will delay 18 weeks, then tell your GP that they need blood work, then delay another 18 weeks before you see their psychiatrist (even if you’ve already been diagnosed with GID). Then after that there is another 3 months minimum before they will actually do anything to authorize treatment (just for hormones, never mind surgery).

  14. Th eproblem with Leeds is that its head is a text book case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy and takes a delight in harming anyone who he takes a hate to.
    Hi shate is triggered by any transsexual who argues with him in front of his female assistants.
    Then like beverly Allitt and Graham Young he deliberately harms them by delaying surgery as long as possible – and simultaneously defrauding the NHS.

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