Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Gender in healthcare: a practical approach


Transgender law is complex and developing. Increasing general practitioner referrals for gender dysphoria without sufficient resources for specialist units have left gaps in transgender healthcare. Surveys repeatedly find transgender patients have lower satisfaction with healthcare experiences, stating doctors have a poor understanding of their needs. Meanwhile, waiting times for referrals remain high.

This review article outlines UK laws and guidelines relevant to trans healthcare, including practical advice for clinicians. Current issues are explored, including the referral process for gender dysphoria.

Transgender law is continually evolving; currently, individuals require a diagnosis of gender dysphoria to legally change gender. However, the gender on NHS records can be changed without legally changing gender.

Clinicians may find support from the General Medical Council for this area. Specifically, guidance exists for including trans patients in screening programmes relevant to their assigned sex at birth. Similarly, advice exists for ensuring the privacy of patients’ gender history.

  • law
  • primary care
  • sexual and gender disorders

Data availability statement

There are no data in this work.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.