Mental health trust shares transgender care expertise

11 April 2011

Good practice developed in Nottinghamshire to help transgender patients feel valued and supported when they are in hospital or using other health services is to be showcased at the UK’s foremost nursing conference later this week.

The training and awareness package for health providers and healthcare workers has been developed in partnership with nurses at Nottinghamshire Healthcare, the county’s main provider of mental health and learning disability services; an organisation recognised nationally for promoting equality in employment and access to health services among the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Designed to support NHS organisations and other healthcare providers to deliver truly patient-focused care to transgender people and fulfil their Equality Act duties, the free resource will be launched at a fringe event at the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) annual Congress in Liverpool on Thursday, April 14.

Guy Thomas, an assistant officer with the RCN in Nottingham, was involved in the development of the training while working as a psychiatric nurse at Nottinghamshire Healthcare.

“The training resource is essentially a tool to help healthcare organisations and practitioners better identify, understand and meet the needs of transgender patients in the context of where they are receiving their care,” said Mr Thomas, who has himself undergone gender reassignment.

“It includes case studies, vignettes, checklists and templates that can be customised to virtually any service organisation, helping them to meet their legal obligations but, just as importantly, ensure their service users have as positive an experience as possible.

“It is intended to support nursing and healthcare staff, in particular, and reassure them that if they aspire to provide dignified, compassionate, patient-centred care, then that is likely to serve transgender people just as well as it serves any other patient.”

The fringe event at RCN Congress – the highest-profile event on the UK nursing calendar – is aimed at disseminating the good practice to interested organisations.

Visit the website at www.nottinghamshirehealthcare.nhs.uk