Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume MSP today called on the Health Secretary to review support provided for Gender Identity Clinics (GICs) after new figures revealed the average waiting time for a first appointment at two of Scotland’s GICs is more than a year.
The average waiting time experienced by people seen between May and July 2015 at the Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow was 52 weeks. 69% of all new Scottish referrals to GICs during this period were to the Sandyford Clinic. At the Chalmers Clinic in Edinburgh, the average waiting time was 56 weeks.
At the end of July, zero patients on the waiting list at Sandyford had been seen within the Referral to Treatment Target of 18 weeks. The figures revealed that 285 people remain on waiting lists for a GIC appointment across Scotland.
Commenting, Mr Hume said: “With people seeking help from GICs in Scotland facing waits of more than one year for a first appointment, there is a compelling case for SNP Ministers to look again that the support that we provide for the hard-pressed NHS staff working at these clinics.
“Clearly, there are substantial capacity issues here and delays can have real impact on the health of Trans people waiting for treatment.
“It is vital that Trans and non-binary people are getting the help they need. Hundreds of people in Scotland are languishing on waiting lists and unless we review these services that is where they will remain.”
Last month it was revealed that many transgender Scots are waiting for increasingly long periods for treatment due to a chronic shortage of suitable qualified professionals.