New GMC advice on supporting transgender patients

NEW advice to help doctors support transgender patients has been published by the GMC.

The advice based on core guidance from Good medical practice also explains doctors’ duty of care under legislation, including the Equality Act 2010.

Professor Terence Stephenson, Chair of the GMC, said: "Transgender patients have the right to be treated with the same respect, sensitivity and understanding as all patients. We hope our guidance will help doctors understand their roles and responsibilities in this area, and we will work with others to consider whether there is any further support we can give."

Guidance for doctors treating transgender patients deals with how to support patients who request treatment for gender dysphoria – where someone’s biological sex is the opposite of their gender identity – and includes information on prescribing hormone therapy, and issues around confidentiality and respect, for example addressing patients by their preferred name and title.

The advice follows publication in January this year of a report on transgender equality by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee. The report said doctors and other health professionals often lacked an understanding of how to provide effective care for trans patients, including referring pathways and their own roles in prescribing treatment.

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