This transgender police officer is teaming up with the NHS to help trans patients
A transgender police officer is teaming up with local NHS staff to advise doctors on handling trans patients.
Sergeant Gina Denham runs a support network for the trans community in Rochford, Essex, and is teaming up with doctors in the area to better advise them on trans issues and care.
Ms Denham is worried that counselling is the first point of call for most doctors to refer trans patients to, but she wants to boost the use of gender identity clinics in the area.
The 52-year-old estimates that she received 65 counselling sessions when she choose to come out in November 2014, but said in the beginning they were no use to her.
She stressed the importance of the specialist clinics which provide mental health advice, hormone treatment, speech therapy, hair treatment and family and support groups.
Denham will be working with the NHS and GP’s in the area to raise awareness about the different options, and she hopes that by raising awareness about alternative routes trans people will have a better experience.
She said: “One of the biggest barriers and potential cost to the NHS is our GPs sending our members to have counselling when they are meant to be referred to a gender clinic.
“The GP just seems to ignore your request and sends you to counselling to try and cure you.
“We don’t want GPs to refer people to counselling as the automatic step. I don’t feel that they are helping their patients by giving them the appropriate advice,” she added.