Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust has launched a new Trans Support Service.

The new local community health service has been designed to support the trans community in Merseyside, offering them help by “listening to them, providing them with information about their options and empowering them to move forward with their lives.”

The service offers sessions with trained councillors, is able to refer clients on to Gender Identity Clinics should they decide to undergo hormone treatment or surgery, and will help to refer those suffering from mental health, employment, housing or substance-abuse problems to the relevant support networks.

Bernie Cuthel, Chief Executive for Liverpool Community Health (LCH) NHS Trust said: “At LCH we are very proud to be launching this new service, which underlines our commitment to providing high quality community healthcare services, which are inclusive to all and effectively support the diverse range of communities that we serve.”

The service has been well-received by the local trans community and support groups in the area.

Ruth Smart, Co-Chair of The Spirit Level Transgender support group in Liverpool city centre said of the launch: “The Spirit Level Transgender support group welcomes the new Trans Support Service as an important step forward in responding to the needs of trans people based on Merseyside.”

Anthony Griffin from In-Trust Merseyside, a local network for transgender & intersex people adds: “We have closely supported LCH in the development of this much-needed new service and have assisted in training the staff involved to help them understand the barriers that trans people face.

“Many people think it is a lifestyle choice and don’t understand that gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition. Our hope is that this new service will not only provide much needed support for trans people, but will also assist in ensuring  a more cost-effective approach within the NHS care-pathway which will long-term save funds by getting the Transgender Care-Pathway more in tune with national and internationally recognised standards for good practice.

“We have long awaited an initiative such as this in Merseyside, and want to commend LCH for its innovative and forward thinking approach.”