At UoS Health Centre we strive to provide a supportive and safe environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) individuals. We believe in fairness, equality, and above all value diversity.
While most health issues affecting LGBT+ individuals are similar to those of the general population, we know that LGBT+ people have unique health needs and experience disparities in care.
In 2018 UoS Health Centre was awarded a Gold standard for ‘excellence in LGBT healthcare’ through LGBT Foundation’s Pride in Practice quality assurance scheme which trains and accredits GP practices for ongoing support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans patients.
This is something that all staff at the practice are very proud of. Due to our commitment to improve our service and create a more inclusive environment for LGBT+ people, we are continually looking to improve our services.
We would like to ask all our patients who identify as LGBT+ to let us know how we can continue to improve our service to you.
If you need any help or support, please do ask the Practice Manager /our clinical team.
Bridging prescriptions – information for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people
A bridging prescription is a temporary prescription of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), typically oestrogen or testosterone, issued by a GP to a patient who is waiting for specialist treatment, usually at a gender dysphoria clinic (GDC ) also known as a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) or in some cases a Gender identity Service (GIS).
At Salford University Health Centre, we understand how difficult it can be for patients to access bridging prescriptions. We also understand that this can be a huge source of distress for many of our patients.
We assess each patient on an individual basis and would encourage patients to have a conversation with us so that we can discuss together if bridging prescriptions are right for you and how we may be in a position to support you while you are waiting for an appointment with your gender clinic or service.
In our discussions with you, we will go over the following points:
- We will ask you how long you have been thinking about taking hormones
- We will ask you more about what your goals are and what support you may need in realising your true gender identity.
- We will ask if you are currently on a waiting list with any Gender Identity Clinics or or if you have already had any appointments with a clinic.
- We will ask if you are currently taking any hormones, either prescribed by a health care professional or ones you may be buying elsewhere
- We will enquire about how accessing support and treatment from us could affect you and your mental health and wellbeing.
- We will ask you if you have thought about starting a family in the future and if you would like to be referred to further support around gamete storage ( Preservation of eggs, sperm, embryos)
- We will also ask you about any other factors that you feel are important into accessing this support and if there are any other areas that you think we can help you with or signpost you to accessing other appropriate services that are right for you.
All of this information will help us to make a decision with you about bridging medications and will be kept in the strictest confidence.
We will never share any of your medical or personal details without your prior consent or agreement.
We understand the importance of getting access to these treatments and how doing this as soon as possible is a priority for many people. By talking to us about it, we can help make sure this is done in a safe way with all the appropriate support and and follow-up.
Bridging prescriptions may not be suitable for everyone but where they are we can help you access appropriate treatment on the NHS.
In terms of monitoring, we can do baseline blood tests and ongoing monitoring bloods.
We have GPs who are experienced in providing hormone treatments to our trans patients and we have direct access to other specialists to get further advice and support when needed.
Depending on where you are in your journey, we may suggest a referral to GIC/GDS/GIS or to an endocrinologist who specialises in all aspects of hormone treatments and support.
We know the wait to see a gender clinic or service is very long and we want to do as much as we can to support our patients whilst they wait for this appointment – bridging prescriptions can be an important part of this.
If you have any questions about bridging prescriptions or anything else regarding your healthcare, please book an appointment with one of our GPs – we are always happy to talk to you about what we offer and how we can help. If you feel comfortable doing so, just let our reception team know how you prefer to be addressed and how you identify – they will make sure you get a suitable appointment as soon as possible.
Support from LGBT Foundation
LGBT Foundation’s helpline is now running extended hours through the week and over the weekends to provide emotional support, brief advice, and signposting. Opening hours are 9am-9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Below are some key resources that we feel may be of use, but we are happy for you to discuss any concerns with one of our clinical team.