Petition to protest Oxfordshire PCT’s refusal to fund core surgical procedures

March 10, 2009

Oxfordshire PCT logoOxfordshire PCT has been operating what amounts to a blanket funding ban of core surgical procedures for gender dysphoria treatment. Since December 2006, one patient has been granted GRS, but only after taking legal action. The policy is due to be reviewed later this month, and in preparation Sally Outen, Rachel Payne, Sharly-Clare Busuttil and Alina Whiteman have prepared a report (The Failure of Gender Dysphoria Treatment in Oxfordshire) which has been presented to the PCT, as well as other interested bodies. A copy of the report may be downloaded from the TransLondon website (direct link to PDF)

Benjamin Thom, PFC Vice President reports:

The spectre of non funding for gender dysphoria is an ever present threat and is still happening in Oxfordshire. Oxfordshire PCT has a policy of only funding the psychiatric and hormonal stages of the recognised triadic therapy for gender dysphoria, which includes surgery. Funding for surgery – and you may have heard this one before – will only be granted in “Exceptional Circumstances.” Four trans women supported by PFC have banded together to challenge Oxfordshire PCT’s policy and their own funding refusals.

Sally Outen (one of the four) after substantial research prepared and authored a report critiquing the policy which has been submitted to the Chief Executive of Oxfordshire PCT. Her coherent and well balanced report can be downloaded directly from the Translondon website (direct link to PDF download). The Oxford Four are asking Andrea Young, the Chief Executive, to reconsider the gender dysphoria policy 18b, which appears to be an aberration compared to the gender dysphoria policies of Oxfordshire’s neighbouring PCTs and completely out of sync with Department of Health recommendations for good practice found in publications such as “Trans: A practical guide for the NHS“. A summary of the report’s concerns that require addressing are as follows:

  1. There is a misunderstanding of gender dysphoria and its appropriate treatment;
  2. Inadequate assessment has been made of the available evidence for the risk to health associated with the condition, and of the effectiveness of established treatments;
  3. These factors have led to treatment being prioritised inappropriately;
  4. The criteria under which treatment may be offered (“exceptional circumstances”) have been defined irrationally, leading to an effective blanket ban;
  5. The policy for the treatment of gender dysphoria is out of line with treatment policies for other conditions, amounting to discrimination;
  6. Oxfordshire PCT’s policy lags behind the treatment policies of other South Central PCTs.

Whilst Oxfordshire PCT is now reviewing its policy in the light of the submitted report, PFC would encourage everyone in the community to demonstrate their total support of the Oxford Four and assist the understanding of Oxfordshire PCT – gender dysphoria if left untreated or part treated is not only life threatening but utterly debilitating and prevents trans people that need treatment from functioning as equal, healthy members of society.

Please show your support and sign this petition requesting that Oxfordshire PCT addresses the inconsistencies in its gender dysphoria policy.

The closing date for signing the petition is 07 April 2009


2 Responses to “Petition to protest Oxfordshire PCT’s refusal to fund core surgical procedures”

  1. Ryan Cleminson Says:

    Our NHS have a duty to treat anyone no matter what gender they maybe

  2. Helen G Says:

    There may be a duty, but this case suggests that it may safely be ignored when it comes to trans people.

    Many of us experience prejudice and discrimination when we try to access state-funded healthcare: the difficulties faced by Debbie Davies trying to obtain post-op treatment from Nottinghamshire PCT have been publicly documented; even on a much smaller scale I have made two attempts to register with a GP which I’ve abandoned because of the frankly shitty attitudes of NHS staff – and these are just two examples that come immediately to mind.

    Access to healthcare is a huge issue for the trans community (and not only in the UK) – but without the political will to enforce its application, then even the flawed equality legislation which already exists is of no practical use whatever.

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