Provide anonymous feedback about your experiences at Charing Cross GIC


Here’s where you can complain about excessive wait times, under-staffing, poor handling of admin issues, misgendering, poor treatment as a nonbinary person, etc.

It’s also where you can tell them about who is awesome at CHX and why.

'By God, believe in something,' Michael Sheen tells politicians – text of speech

In 1945 Aneurin Bevan said: ‘We have been the dreamers, we have been the sufferers, and now, we are the builders.’ And my God, how they built. And what they built. Every bit as much a wonder of the world as any architectural marvel, or any natural miracle … The National Health Service. A truly monumental vision. The result of true representation. Of real advocacy. A symbol of equality, of fairness, and of compassion.

The nation that swept the postwar Labour government into power was made up of people who had faced the horrors and the hardships of the second world war. And had bound together as one community to overcome them. They had been sustained and inspired by their feeling of comradeship, and their sense of responsibility for their fellow man and woman. Compelled to help those in need and those struggling in the face of hardship.

These were the experiences that shaped them, and this was the vision of life that the welfare state was born out of. Faced with an enemy that sought only to divide, the National Health Service strove for unity. Where they traded in fear-mongering, and blame, and exploitation of the vulnerable, the NHS represented compassion, and generosity, and acceptance. Where they slavered with voracious self-interest, the NHS symbolised courageous self-sacrifice for the good of all.

In his book In Place of Fear, Bevan said: ‘The collective principle asserts that no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.’

‘No society can legitimately call itself civilised’: now that begs the question, what sort of society do we want to be? What is our vision for ourselves? What are the qualities and the principles that we aspire towards, and choose to defend?

Because it is a choice. Do we want to be a society that is fractured, divided, disconnected? Do we want to be a society that is suspicious and mistrustful of its own people? A society that is exploitative, that sees people as commodities, as numbers. Mere instruments of profit, to be used while they have use, drained of whatever they can offer, and when they are seen as no longer useful, just abandoned, cut adrift. Preferably unseen and never again heard from.
Or … or … do we want to be a society where each person is recognised? Where all are equal in worth and value. And where that value is not purely a monetary one. A society that is supportive, that is inclusive and compassionate. Where it is acknowledged that not all can prosper. Where those who are most vulnerable, most in need of help, are not seen as lazy, or scrounging, or robbing the rest of us for whatever they can get. Where we … we do not turn our backs on those facing hard times. We do not abandon them or exploit their weakness. Because they are us. If not now, then at some point, and inevitably, they are us.
We are not afraid to acknowledge that we can be ailing, that we can find ourselves weak, that we can be infirm, and that we all at some point need help. We don’t shy away from this hard truth, we embrace it. Because in that way, together, we are always strong. We leave no one behind. We only say we’ve crossed the finish line when the last of us does. Because no one is alone. And there is such a thing as society.

This is what I believe to be Aneurin Bevan’s vision of a living tapestry of a mixed community, as he said.

At a time now, when people mistrust politicians as being too professional, too disconnected, no longer representing the voice of the people they have been elected to serve but more likely to represent the voice of wherever the money is. No longer standing for anything meaningful, or inspired by strongly held beliefs.

At a time like this a man like Aneurin Bevan seems like a mythical creature. Like a unicorn perhaps. Or perhaps more fittingly, a dragon. He didn’t care what the polls were saying. He didn’t worry about his PR, or what the current popular trends might be. His vision was long term. It was far-reaching, visionary in its scope and revolutionary in its effects. He had cast iron integrity and a raging passion.

This was a man who had no fear in standing up for what he believed in. And he made no bones about how he felt. This was a man who publicly stated: ‘No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical, or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep, burning hatred for the Tory party.’

In today’s political climate, where politicians are careful, tentative, scared of saying what they feel for fear of alienating a part of the electorate; where under the excuse of trying to appear electable, all parties drift into a morass of bland neutrality; and the real deals, the real values we suspect, are kept behind closed doors – is it any wonder that people feel there is very little to choose between? Bevan said: ‘We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.’

So when people are too scared to say what they really mean, when they’re too careful to speak from their hearts, when integrity is too much of a risk, it’s no surprise that people feel disengaged with politics.

There is never an excuse to not speak up for what you think is right. You must stand up for what you believe. But first of all – by God, believe in something.

Because there are plenty out there who believe in grabbing as much as they can for themselves. Constantly sniffing around for markets to exploit, for weakness to expose. They won’t say it, of course – they’re too smart for that.

No one says they want to get rid of the NHS. Everyone praises it, across all parties. It is about as powerful a symbol of goodness that we have, so it would be too dangerous not to. But for decades now, there has nevertheless been a systematic undermining of its core values.

This is beyond party politics. The Labour government arguably did as much damage to the NHS as any Tory or coalition-led one.

This is about who we want to be as a nation, and what we believe is worth fighting for. Too many people have given too much, and fought too hard, for us to give away what they achieved and to be left with so very little.

To those across the whole party political spectrum, and to anyone in any position of power or authority, I ask you to search your heart, and look at who and what you serve.

To those who have discarded all principles, save that of profit before all else; to those who have turned their backs on the very idea of a truly democratic society, and aligned themselves to nothing but self-interest; to those who have betrayed the vision of equality, and justice, and compassion for all – that vision that provided the crucible from which came forth the National Health Service – I say to you, as Aneurin Bevan said in Trafalgar Square in 1956: you have besmirched the name of Britain; you have made us ashamed of the things of which formerly we were proud; you have offended against every principle of decency and there is only way in which you can even begin to restore your tarnished reputation. Get out. Get out! Get … out!


This was the last straw.

After delivering his lines, he walks away from her…

1) First of all, there is no help when it comes to Trich and the NHS. There are no treatments specifically catered for our condition and there is no cure.

There is no walk in clinic where I can go for support, Doctor appointments have to be under 7 minutes/and are very unhelpful… Every Doctor I have spoken to about my condition has either belittled me and my cries, or just forwarded me onto another Doctor/section of the NHS.

Even when I was diagnosed (7 years after crying out for help!), nothing was done about it. I was left to fend for myself.

The only “help” I’ve been given, is as a child I was given a counsellor (who did not take my hair pulling seriously), as mid teen - I was drugged up with their antidepressants and then at 18 - I was dumped on waiting lists for CBT (not designed to help Trich) - that I’ve now been on for three years. (I’ve given up).

I stand by my feelings, there is no help. That is why I’ve spent the last three/four years battling on with this, without any aid from the NHS.

2) There is help for those that want it?

I want help, with all my heart, but as I’ve already stated, there is none.

Also because some of us hide our disorder from friends and family, that means we don’t want help? That is far from the truth! Some people who suffer, stay in the dark all the while desperately try to find the light.

I just… I’m lost.

I’m so hurt.

Fantastic news!

UK Trans Info have managed to get the NHS to confirm that GIC patients actually do have a legal right to be treated by GICs within 18 weeks of being referred!

UK Trans Info welcome that NHS England have finally accepted the true legal position. We recognise that it will not be quick or easy to bring the excessive waiting lists back down to within legal limits, but the first step to fixing a problem is to acknowledge it’s existence. The letter states that NHS England will first be focussing on reducing the waiting times for genital reconstructive surgery. It says that “Area teams have been asked to initiate discussions with providers as a matter of urgency about potential options to expand capacity and […] progress with moving towards and sustaining the standard will be the subject of routine performance and exception reporting.”

I just felt I should spread this because i have had the evening from hell due to my own stupid lack of listening to details- basically expected a new anxiety medication to work one way, it did not, I freaked out, and had no idea if it was safe to take my regular medication on top of it. At 10pm on a Sunday. Who you going to call?

111, guys. Within a few minutes I was talking to an out-of-hours doctor called Steven who reassured me that I could take the other medicine, advised me to eat, chatted for as long as I needed, calmed me down and was basically awesome. He also checked I was going back to see the GP and, as the link says, they can arrange stuff like GP appointments and even an ambulance for you if you think you need it.

Whatever you’re struggling with, even if you feel like you can’t or don’t want to bother your family or friends and don’t think it’s ‘important’ enough to go to A&E, try 111. These people are THE BEST.

Thanks, Steven. <3


National Health Action candidate for Stafford Karen Howell takes on local Labour and Tory MPs in the NHS debate on the West Midlands edition of Sunday Politics.

anonymous asked:

Hey! I was wondering if I could trouble you for advice? Basically, I'm dfab and agender and going to talk to my GP this week about the idea of a referral to a gender identity clinic about getting just top surgery. What would be the best things to say and have for a backup in case they end up being transphobic/binarist/horrible in some way? Thanks :D

Hello! :)

(Disclaimer for future enbys: I wrote this advice in Feb 2015.)

1. Take the interim protocol for GPs re: gender dysphoria

"Hey doc, I’m transgender, could you please refer me to a gender identity clinic?"

First of all, most GPs have a very out of date referral protocol for patients with gender dysphoria. Their protocol says they should refer to a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) who would assess you and refer you on. This protocol was updated in 2013; there is now an interim protocol, published by the NHS, that your GP should follow. The new interim protocol says that GPs should refer directly to a gender identity clinic (GIC), with no need for a psychiatric assessment.

I strongly advise all people going to their GP to check out this page on the NHS website and download and print the attached PDF to take with you. The PDF is the interim protocol, and if your GP can have a quick read through and refer you straight away it will save you weeks (if not months) of waiting, following up, being asked unnecessary and intimate questions, etc.

Your GP, if they are particularly rubbish, may try to offer you a counselling service or a referral to the CMHT instead of a GIC referral. Accept whatever else you want that you feel will help, but do not leave that office without a referral. (Ask to be CCed - see point 2.) If they refuse to refer you immediately, and they don’t give an explanation that satisfies you, it’s time for a new GP.

Waiting lists are really long. Really really long. You have a legal right to treatment within 18 weeks of referral, but four of six GICs in this PDF are failing to follow that law. My GIC Charing Cross (London) is the oldest and most well known, and it’s one of the worst; I had a gap of six months (26 weeks) between referral and first appointment in 2011. In 2014 it was more than twice that (56 weeks). My initial referral to the CMHT added 6 months to my wait. (More on my timeline here.) That’s why you should insist on a referral even if you’re not sure; you can ask to be removed from the list later on, but if you’re not sure and you delay your GIC decision you can’t jump the queue.

You are allowed to choose your GIC, if you’d like - though it’s fine to trust your GP to refer you to whichever they think is most appropriate. I’d like to advise you on which GIC to choose, but I only have experience of Charing Cross and the national nonbinary GIC situation is changing fast. If you don’t mind the risk of getting a GIC that might suck or need educating and you’re up for travelling, you can ask to be referred to the one with the shortest waiting list (currently Daventry or Exeter). You could also ask around to see which clinics nonbinary people are attending and how it’s going, and for that I recommend the /r/nonbinaryUK subreddit and the NBSW forums. I’m sorry I can’t be more help on that!

2. Ask to be copied (CCed) on your referral and all correspondence with the GIC

This is a common request and your GP should have no problems agreeing to it and following it. It’s no trouble for them either so don’t feel bad about asking.

It’ll be evidence that you have in fact been referred, and if you don’t hear from your GIC you’ll know who to chase up with. It’s just a really useful thing to have in your records.

Plus it’s always good to hear what your GP is saying behind your back. It’ll let you know how they handle the pronoun issue, for example. (I have learned to be wary of the people who decide to avoid pronouns altogether, because in my experience they slip up a lot.)

3. Pronouns (optional)

If you have settled on some pronouns, take an A4 sheet with notes on your gender identity and pronouns. Give it to your GP, tell them aloud that you want them to use these new pronouns from now on in person and in records, and tell them to put that sheet of paper in your records for future reference.

Even if you’re going with “they”, throw in an example sentence that uses lots of pronouny goodness (including the reflexive, “[pronoun]self”) - gender-inclusive and neopronouns are very new and unfamiliar to a lot of people, and even smart people need a little hand-holding.

"Cassian has their dentist appointment today; they will drive themself there."

(I feel honour-bound to tell you that I don’t drive. o.O Thanks, brain.)

4. Record-keeping (optional)

This can be done by post at any time. It’s just writing to your GP and asking them to change your title and gender on your records. @just-one-mx wrote a great blog post with a letter template.


"Hi Dr Geepee! I’m transgender, I want a double mastectomy, I’ve got buckets of gender dysphoria. Please refer me directly to [my favourite gender identity clinic] as per the interim protocol published by the NHS that I have here. Also, copy me on the referral, and here’s my new pronouns."

And if they’re really snotty: “If you’re not referring me directly as per the interim protocol I’ll be making a formal complaint and switching GP.”

  • CAMHS:*Waiting lists are really long*
  • Government:.....
  • CAMHS:*People are being placed in therapy that doesn't work for them, and being placed back on another waiting list when they complain*
  • Government:.....
  • CAMHS:*Not getting the funding they need to make a different*
  • Government:.....
  • CAMHS:*Just generally really crap*
  • Government:.....
  • Government:..........
  • Government:.............
  • Government:lol let's make massive budget cuts