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Groundbreaking trans health service making a difference to lives in Sefton

A dedicated trans health service is providing medical support and guidance for residents across Sefton.

Trans Health Sefton was set up in 2017 by Sefton’s two former Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) before they became part of NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, which now funds the service, in 2022. It was designed with the support of patients and healthcare professionals, to provide medical support for people whose gender identity is different from their assigned gender at birth.

Dr Anna Ferguson and Jenny Owen receive the award
Dr Anna Ferguson and Jenny Owen receive the award

Award winning

The service has been recognised as the first of its kind and won an award in the Primary Care Innovation category at the National Healthcare Transformation Awards in 2019.

Based at Bootle Strand, Trans Health Sefton has proved to be a great success with trans residents in the local community, with one patient saying: “I don’t think that I can imagine better care.”

Speaking about the service, Dr Anna Hunter, Service Lead for Trans Health Sefton said: “Trans health is so often overlooked, and it leaves people not knowing where to turn to get the support they need.

“I started Trans Health Sefton to provide a safe space for people who are struggling with their gender identity or whose gender differs from what they were assigned at birth.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to help patients of all ages and to be there for them as they take the brave steps to being who they want to be.”

Support and guidance

Anyone who is registered with a Sefton GP can be referred to Trans Health Sefton. This referral can be made by a healthcare professional or via a self-referral through the practice.

Following referral and assessment, Trans Health Sefton can support patients with care planning, assistance with hormone therapy treatment, administrative tasks such as making a legal name change. It can also help with guidance for patients and their families.

The service works closely with health and support organisations across the region to signpost residents to the best and most appropriate healthcare available to them.

You can find out more about Trans Health Sefton, here. 

Making a difference

Anna added: “Trans Health Sefton is a real example of grass roots innovation and co-design, where service users and voluntary, community and faith organisations worked together with medical and other health professionals to develop the service.

“We are proud of the work our service has done and the difference it has made.

“It has been so successful that our assessment and treatment pathways were adopted in 2020 as a pilot for gender identity clinics across the country.”

Anthony Griffin, chair of Sefton based trans non-binary and intersex support group In-Trust and who played a central role in the design of the service, said: “Looking back over the last few years on the overwhelming success of Trans Health Sefton, it’s important to remember there is much still to be done, so that this important service is available across the region.

“Now more than ever the former Sefton CCG are to be commended for ensuring the future of this unique service.”

Councillor Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “It is deeply important to us at Sefton Council along with our partners in health and care that all of our residents have access to the right level of healthcare.

“We are delighted to have Trans Health Sefton providing life-changing care for residents in Sefton and I’m sure it will continue to go from strength to strength.”

You can find out more about Trans Health Sefton, here.