As a service we recognise and affirm all gender identities. If an individual wishes to have medical or psychological treatment for their gender dysphoria, we aim to provide appropriate care and treatment to reflect this. It is the view of this team that people in the service should receive personally tailored treatment plans and that there is not one expected way in which any individual might choose to manage their gender dysphoria.
In our experience, some people report having felt pressured to provide a ‘typical’ history or life story, to meet expectations of staff in gender clinics in order to gain access to essential treatments. In reality we are aware that there is no such thing as a ‘typical pattern of development’ and do not expect that this would be the case for people presenting to our service.
We believe that there are many factors which affect the way in which a person becomes aware of their gender identity. The ways that someone can express or explore their gender identity are dictated by their environment and circumstances, meaning that these expressions and explorations can happen at any or all stages of life. We do not believe that gender identity is usually a matter of choice or decision.
What we do
The Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service is a service for people who experience persistent confusion and/or discomfort as a result of a discrepancy between their assigned sex and their gender identity. This includes people who want to change physical aspects of their gender as well as those who do not.
Some people who are distressed about their assigned sex have other health problems such as physical disabilities or mental health difficulties. The service is open to all but people with more complex needs may require additional support from other services.
The Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service offers a treatment pathway focused on improving the physical and mental wellbeing of the people that we serve. We offer:
- Comprehensive assessment
- Medical interventions
- Referrals for surgery and other treatments
- Voice and communication therapy
- Specialist psychological therapy.
- Advice and training to other professionals, including advice on medical treatments.
We understand gender dysphoria as the experience of discomfort or distress which arises as a result of a mismatch between a person’s gender identity and their sex assigned at birth. Each individual might experience gender dysphoria differently and to varying degrees.
Our vision and values
The Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service is hosted by Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and wear NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust vision and values are:
To be a leader in the delivery of high quality care and a champion for those we serve.
Caring and compassionate
- Put ourselves in other people’s shoes
- Listen and offer hope
- Focus on recovery
- Be approachable
- Be sensitive and considerate
- Be helpful
- Go the extra mile
- Value the skill and contribution of others
- Give respect to all people
- Respect and embrace difference
- Encourage innovation and be open to new ideas
- Work together and value our partners
Honest and transparent
- Have no secrets
- Be open and truthful
- Accept what is wrong and strive to put it right
- Share information
- Be accountable for our actions
The staff team at the Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service have embedded these within the service and have identified our values:
We aim to work collaboratively with service users to increase their personal comfort in a consistent, flexible and accepting way.
We aim to support each other to develop as individuals through positive challenge and open reflection, maintaining our focus on our service users.
We aim to create trans affirmative change with passion, taking responsibility for seeking out diversity and encouraging authenticity in all areas of our working lives.