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  1. ITV Report

Increased demand means trans patients could wait up to 12-years for gender reassignment treatment

The Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service is based at Walkergate Hospital in Newcastle Photo:

A report published by not-for-profit organisation UK Trans Info has revealed that people with gender dysphoria in the North East could wait 12-years for treatment, based on current staffing levels and trends.

The report also revealed that no new patients were seen by the Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service between February and April this year.

People with gender dysphoria do not identify with their biological sex, and may feel they were born with the wrong genitalia.

The long waits predicted have been caused by an increase in demand on services.

NHS England's target for the length of time between being referred by a GP and starting treatment is 18-weeks.

Some treatments can take up to 7-years to complete, so a patient referred by a GP today might not complete their treatment for another 19-years.

Lots more people are looking to use our Gender Dysphoria services and we are having to meet increasing demand. One of the effects of this has been increased waiting times.

We are working with the people who pay for these services, our commissioners, to see how we can get these waiting times down, which includes recruiting new staff.

Recruiting staff in this field is a challenge as it requires very specialised staff. I'd like to reassure anyone looking to use our services that we are doing our utmost to meet the increasing demand.

– David Timlin, Service Manager, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust