Long-delayed Trans Healthcare report finally published

The report was submitted by the Steering Committee during February 2020 but only saw release on Christmas Eve following repeated calls for its publication.

Hands holding up a sign reading 'trans rights are human rights'

The much-delayed Trans Healthcare report was finally published on Christmas Eve, 2020, following Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s calling for its publication in the Dáíl in early December.

There had been pressure on the Government not just around the delay of the publication of the Trans Healthcare report, but also following questions about its misplacement – as the Steering Committee had submitted their findings in February 2020.

Previously, steering committee member, Noah Halpin had shared, “It is extremely regrettable that despite a three year-long waiting list for transgender healthcare services in Ireland and an 11-month delay in the publication of this report, it was left to the trans community to investigate the location and status of this Government established committee report. If it were not for the fact that I made the mishandling of this report public, I do not expect that the Department of Health would have made any meaningful effort to locate or progress the recommendations of the committee.”

The report has now been published, with the following recommendations made by the Steering Committee:

1. Move from the current system of psychological support provided by Tavistock Clinic (in London) for those under 18 years of age to ensure services are provided and delivered by the Irish Health Service.

2. Develop a full multidisciplinary team (as defined in the model of care) within Mental Health Services to support the delivery of the NGS, led by the new CAMHS Consultant Psychiatrist.

3. Develop a Clinical Governance Committee for the National Gender Service (to include representation from adult and paediatric services, as well as service users) that will operate across all services delivering transgender care to ensure clear clinical and corporate governance structures are in place.

4. Develop a Service User Forum for the NGS, with advice from the HSE Head of Mental Health Engagement and Recovery in relation to service user involvement and representation.

5. Consider revisiting the current model of Ccare, as developed by Dr Philip Crowley (National Director of HSE Quality Improvement Division) under the auspices of new guidelines published by the Department of Health on model of care and noting additional resources now available to deliver more comprehensive programme of care.

6. Continue to roll out Gender Identity Skills Training (GIST) nationally to all relevant staff members across the continuum of care, through primary care, secondary care and tertiary care.

7. Consider the establishment of academic partnerships to provide longitudinal evaluation of the service as it develops, to best ensure service provision develops along with need.

The HSE has said that most of the recommendations are already in progress, while the report can be read in its entirety here.

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