Charring cross closure statement

I’ll do some analysis in a bit, but for now let’s have this linkable too.

EDIT: http://www.wlmht.nhs.uk/news-events/future-charing-cross-gender-identity-clinic/ is a better place to link to

The future of the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic

The Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross plays a leading role nationally and internationally in helping people experiencing gender dysphoria to feel more comfortable in their own bodies.

West London Mental Health Trust (WLMHT) is incredibly proud to have been at the forefront of developing gender identity services during a period in which societal attitudes and understanding of this issue has improved so vastly, and that the Charing Cross GIC and its staff have, since 1966, helped nearly 7500 people to lead happier, healthier lives.

Demand for gender identity services has risen sharply in recent years as society has grown more understanding and awareness of NHS services has developed. This has been challenging for the clinic and resulted in waiting times that are longer than we would like. However, the clinic’s staff have continued to invest huge amounts of energy and, working with NHS England, have made great strides in bringing these waiting times down while still providing a service which is rated highly by patients.

However, as WLMHT moves forward it is necessary to refocus the services that we provide. The Board has made a decision that the medium-term strategic focus for the Trust will be to develop mental health services, physical care and integration between the two.

As a result, the Trust has come to the conclusion that patients requiring gender identity services would be better served in the long term by another provider, and has therefore served notice on our contract to NHS England.

We know that many of the patients we see at the GIC are at difficult times in their lives and that this announcement may cause alarm; we would therefore like to offer the following reassurances:

· This does not mean services are stopping now – we will continue to provide services as normal until such time as a new provider is able to take over; this is likely to be at least six months.

· Patients from London and the South East will not be left without services or have to travel much further – NHS England as the commissioner for gender identity services will find a suitable alternative provider as quickly as possible.

· Patients will not have to start their treatment all over again – continuity of care for our patients is the number one priority for clinic staff. GIC staff will work closely with NHS England and a new provider to ensure disruption to treatment is kept to an absolute minimum.

· This does not mean we will let services deteriorate – WLMHT and the GIC will continue to deliver on plans we have developed with NHS England to improve access to and quality of services while it continues as the provider.

· We will not reduce staffing levels – while we remain the provider of this service we have an obligation to ensure there are sufficient qualified staff to maintain and continue improvements in access and quality.

· We will ensure a smooth handover to the new provider, working closely with our colleagues at the GIC and NHS England

We will keep patients and staff informed about progress on the handover to a new provider and what this means for them as our work with NHS England develops over the coming months.

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Charring cross closure statement

Gender recognition, some basic demands

The UK government are all over the place on gender recognition at the moment, one day proposing removing the gender marker from passports and driving licences and the next calling for self determination of legal gender but without recognition for non binary people.

I think it’s useful, at this point, to have a set of demands against which we can measure any proposals and use to push for more from them. Here’s my list of what needs to be in a new gender recognition act, at the very least.

Fast, simple, self determination of legal gender for all people.

This means that you should be able to have your gender changed on all documentation, including your birth certificate(and adoption certificates), simply by completing and returning a (free) form, or through a deed poll like system.

Ireland and many other countries already offer systems like this, and it’s not an unreasonable demand.

This system must be available for all trans people, including those under 16(with the minimum parental involvement legally possible, and judicial appeal options if this is impossible), and irrespective of citizenship. This change must be fast, and not require any evidence other than your signature to say so.

Complete recognition of non binary identities on documentation

Non-binary people are receiving more and more recognition across the board, with councils and other institutions allowing people to use the Mx title and recognising them in resources.

Non binary recognition means the option to self define your gender outside of the man/woman binary, and to allow you to refuse to define it.

The ongoing fight for documentation by non binary people has been going on far too long, and the opportunity presented by the inquiry is a once-in-ten-years event.

Non binary recognition, including the X marker on passports and more liberal measures(such as freeform options on other documentation) are a must from legislation this time.

No government list of trans people

The current gender recognition legislation has created the gender recognition register, a list of every trans person who’s received legal recognition of their gender.

A list of a vulnerable group of people is a dangerous thing to be held anywhere, at risk of getting left on a memory stick on a train, “procured” by a tabloid journalist, or used to systematically discriminate against trans people by a future government.

This list is nominally to allow people to receive birth certificates(and adoption certificates) in their new name and gender, but people could instead be added to the original list of births, with no indicator of their trans status, under the year of their birth, using the process for late registrations.

No list should be kept of trans people. This endangers our lives and our identities, and must end.

Automatic agreement with oversees gender recognition

The current system only allows gender recognition to be carried with a person when they travel or migrate if the process they went through is more stringent than the united kingdoms system.

All gender recognition systems must be accepted automatically, with minimum involvement by the applicant, the moment their gender is changed in one country, this recognition should be legally valid in the uk.

End the spousal veto

Current legislation allows married trans people to be prevented from having their gender recognised if their partner objects to this, often delaying their recognition for years in the case of messy divorces.

Spouses rights can be protected by not re-registering a marriage without the consent of both partners, and giving uncontestable grounds for an annulment.

No forced marriages for those with a civil partnership

If a person in a civil partnership gets gender recognition, their partnership is automatically converted to a marriage.

Many people do not wish to be married to their partner given they had been in a partnership before, and additional demands and connotations of marriage, such as the need for consummation for it to be valid, are not acceptable.

People must be allowed to remain in a civil partnership and still receive gender recognition

End discrimination against those with northern Irish marriages or civil partnerships

People with Northern Irish marriages and civil partnerships must end these before receiving gender recognition, and this is not acceptable. In countries where same sex marriage is not legal, people should not be forced to receive a divorce and then re-obtain a marriage.

Instead, their marriage should be automatically converted into a civil partnership. As above, those in civil partnerships should have the option to remain in a civil partnership.

This list is at least partially copped from the excellent UK trans info submission to the trans inquiry, and with thanks to jess coal for edits and input

thank’s to @em_whiterose for the note on adoption certificates.

Gender recognition, some basic demands