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IGPM releases gender identity guidance for general practice processes

by Carolyn Scott
8 April 2022

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All general practices should have a named clinician and administrative lead for transgender and non-binary patients to speak to if they wish to request a change to their patient record, new guidance says.

A gender identity toolkit for general practice has been released by the Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM), to help ensure that all registered patients receive ‘appropriate care and communication’.

‘Each GP practice should have a named clinician and admin lead who are aware of the processes involved and the potential implications of a change in gender marker,’ advice in the toolkit says.

Patients requesting a change in their gender marker should be able to speak with the named clinician ‘to discuss what information regarding their previous records they are happy to have transferred over and any potential risks’.

For example, a patient changing their gender on record will receive a new NHS number. Arrangements for screening should also be discussed with the patient.

Patients have a legal right to change their record, it is advised in the document, without them having to first have a Gender Recognition Certificate or an updated birth certificate.

The guidance was developed by IGPM, with project partners Indigo, an adult gender service pilot in Greater Manchester, the LGBT programme Pride in Practice, and Practice Index.

It is imperative that patients who are trans or non-binary are addressed in the correct manner, says the toolkit, and practice staff should ask patients how they would like to be addressed, and what pronouns (i.e., he/him, she/her, they/them) they use.

IGPM said that the work was carried out in response to requests for information from practice managers and to ‘ensure that the care of transgender and non-binary patients is managed in the appropriate manner and in accordance with the guidance’. The group is running a webinar for practice managers to introduce the toolkit on Wednesday 27 April.