GP practices have been told to improve their training on trans, race and disability inclusion after a survey found more than half (57%) of trans people avoid seeing their GP.
The survey – which saw nearly 700 trans people interviewed between January and February 2021 – found that 45% of trans respondents said their GP did not have a good understanding of their needs, rising to 55% for non-binary patients.
Trans people of colour and disabled trans people reported being more severely impacted by their GP’s lack of understanding, with 31% and 28% reporting this lack of knowledge ‘very much’ impacted their care, compared to 23% generally.
Additionally, 14% of respondents said their GP refused care or treatment on account of their being transgender ‘at least once’.
TransActual, the advocacy and education group who published the report, said practices must take ‘immediate steps’ to investigate and address the discrimination based on gender identity, race and disability in illustrated in the findings.
It urged practice managers to provide all staff members with ‘high quality’ training on trans inclusion, race equity and disability equity.
They added that practices should ensure patients know how to complain if they do feel they have experienced discrimination using a service.
Findings not ‘unexpected’
The survey also highlighted that more than a quarter of people (27%) reported that they ‘always’ or ‘often’ avoid GP visits for cervical cancer screenings or prostate checks.
A similar conclusion was drawn in a BJGP study published in May, which found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of trans man and non-binary people preferred to attend a trans-specific clinic for cervical screenings over their GP.
Chay Brown, director of TransActual, said that while the new figures were ‘shocking’ they are ‘in no way unexpected’.
‘They merely put figures to a perilous situation that almost every trans person in the UK is well aware of. Transphobia feels unescapable, whether we’re at home, at work or when we go to the doctors.’
Meanwhile, Jane Fae, also a director of TransActual, added that ‘transphobia impacts all aspects of daily life for trans people’, including healthcare.