The RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) has been running a campaign to Put Patients First: Back General Practice. The campaign demands, as funding has now reached an historic low, that government increase the share of funding that goes into general practice from 8.39% to 11% of the NHS budget by 2017.
Focus: The Identity Trust back this campaign and urge everyone to do likewise. The growing crisis affecting GP services affects EVERYONE in our society and not just transgender and intersex individuals and their families, who are of course PART of society, and not APART from society.
Like other health care users, the first point of contact for many transgender and intersex individuals, and their families who also require help, advice and support, is usually their GP. General Practice is the cornerstone of the NHS and the importance of GP support throughout the entire process is vital especially when one considers the disturbing statistics surrounding suicide, suicide attempts and self-harming amongst transgender and intersex individuals. A recent study revealed 84% of transgender participants had contemplated suicide, 33% of whom had attempted more than once, and an astonishing 76% of respondents had used mental health services in some form. (A full list of statistics can be found at the end of this article). Patients value general practice very highly, and rank GPs as one of the most trusted of all professions.
However, as the RCGP campaign has highlighted, despite carrying out 90% of all NHS patient contracts, general practice only receives 8.39% of the NHS budget – an historic low, which is plunging yearly.
Add in ballooning workloads, declining resources, and an overstretched workforce and the scale of the crisis may be appreciated. Patients face the possibility of longer waits for appointments, fewer services and more difficulty in getting to see the GP of their choice. Therefore, this campaign demands the figure of 8.39% of the NHS budget is increased to 11% by 2017.
Up to 100 practices across the UK face closure in coming months – it could be your practice, but even if not, it is vital to act to save the cornerstone of the NHS and protect what is the primary point of access to NHS care for millions of people.
At a time when the Heath and Social Care Board is finalising its 2014/15 NHS budget for Northern Ireland we join with the RCGP and other organisations to urge everyone to back this campaign NOW.
You can access the RCGP Campaign Home Page by clicking here.
On that site you can find out how to contact your local MLA to urge their action, and find a pre-written letter with which you can directly lobby Mr John Compton, the Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board.
Focus: the Identity Trust urge everyone to back this campaign wholeheartedly.
RCGP Campaign leaflets available directly here.
Transgender Health Statistics (a soupçon)
Here are some findings from the 2012 UK wide ‘Transgender Mental Health’ survey. Of the transgender respondents;
- over 90% had been told that transgender people were not normal
- only 5% felt that being trans did not affect their life satisfaction
- 76% of respondents reported that they had used mental health services
- 53% of the participants had self-harmed at some point, with 11% currently self-harming
- 84%, had thought about ending their lives at some point
- 33% had attempted to take their life more than once in their lifetime, 3% attempting suicide more than 10 times
- 81% experienced silent harassment (e.g. being stared at/whispered about) for being transgender
- 73% had been made fun of or called names for being transgender
- 19% reported having been homeless at some point
- Substance abuse: 24% had used illegal drugs, 47% had levels of alcohol intake suggested dependence
- over 60% felt that they had to educate a health worker in transgender issues
- 51% of the participants worried that they would have to avoid social situations or places in the future due to fear of being harassed, read or being revealed as transgender
- 52% of the participants had experienced problems with work due to being transgender or having a transgender history
- 19% experienced actual harassment or discrimination
In 2013 an Irish study, ‘Speaking from the Margins’ modelled on the UK study was completed. Some of its findings were;
- more than 70% of considered media portrayals of transgender people to be negative,
- 40% stated that these representations negatively affected their emotional wellbeing or mental health
- 78% had considered suicide
- 40% of those people had made at least one attempt
- 44% had self-harmed, 6% currently self-harming
- 72% had experienced silent harassment
- more than 80% of participants avoided some public places or situations due to fear of harassment
- almost all participants knew someone who had experienced harassment due to being trans
- over 20% reported knowing someone who had been raped for being transgender
- almost 10% knew someone who had been murdered due to being transgender
- 67% had or were taking anti-depressants
- 82% had been diagnosed or believed they had depression
- only 50% respondents were in full or part time employment
- nearly 50% had experienced some problems in work due to their transgender status