Medical Transition - The Mechanics of it all - Assessments - part 4 - the NHS First assessment
When i decided that transitioning was the only practicable way forward for me due to the impact my gender dysphoria had, I did my research on waiting times before deciding which GIC I was going to be referred to see my post on Services and chose Sheffield.
The (English) GICs have been nationally commissioned since 2013/4 and if you are registered with an NHS England GP you can be referred to any of the 7 services in England , Scotland has 3 or 4 services of it's own ,some are nationally commissioned others take from specific health boards, NI has a GIC of it's own and poor old Wales was lagging right behind and was stuck with an 1980s style referral system and didn't actually have it's own GIC until very recently , which is just getting going - there was a separate referral and funding stream for NHS wales patients to be seen at Charing Cross.
The GICs are supposedly within the scope of the '18 week referral to treatment' target, none of them is anywhere near that , neither is GIDS.
Sheffield is currently the least worst wait and their wait is approximately 60 weeks from referral to first assessment , 4 of the other services - Newcastle, Charing Cross, Nottingham and Leeds advising waits of 20-24 MONTHS, Daventry's wait is still approaching 3 years and the Laurels seems to have some sort of split waiting list due to staffing issues where people report their plan of care isn't actually fully put in place until around 4 years after they were originally referred.
But on with the actual topic of this post... On 2nd of January 2019 I had my first assessment appointment at Sheffield GIC, i'd previously been for an information session in the summer of 2018 roughly half way between referral and being seen.
My appointment on was schedules to be up to 90 minutes long and was a Diagnostic assessment with Sarah C, their Nurse clinician, the format of this assessment very much followed a pretty similar format to that Stuart Lorimer's assessment did back in march... the main differences for me was now being in a position to talk about the positive changes to both mind and body from beginning medical transition.