Thursday, 25 March 2010

Aghhh, the **** NHS

OK may seem odd coming from someone who has not personally had anything directly to do with the NHS for 11 years or so, but I have indirectly since I told my parents.

My mum went to her Doctor to find out who she could speak to to help her understand the bombshell I dropped on New Years Eve.  Apparently the doctor tried to be helpful, and did some investigations for her.  The result is what has riled me.

The only thing the NHS will do for my parents is...  Refer them to a sexual health clinic.  To discuss how my news on being transgender has affected them.  *I* wouldn't expect to be sent to a sexual health clinic if I went to the doctor there and said I needed to speak to someone out it, so why on earth should my parents be sent there?  It's insanity...

On top of that, and the real stange one for me.  They won't speak to my parents about how it is affecting them unless I go in person (1600km's away 99% of the year) to give my permission as their feelings are connected to my news.  WTF.  What right do I have to say my parents can't discuss their own feelings.

I just don't get it...  I think I'm going to have to do some searching for them and find a private therapist.

Other than that it was a nice chat again.  We hadn't spoken for a while, and yesterday I just a text from her asking how we were so I gave her a call.

And lied a little...  I've been pretty down the last couple of weeks, but didn't really want to get into it last night.  No doubt we'll talk again soon and we can go over it in more detail.

And...  She's sent me my yearly package of Mini Eggs!  I am totally addicted to these things, but you can't find them over here. Ergo each Easter I get a red cross package full of them :)  They take a while to arrive though - they were posted more than a week ago, and still no sign of them.  I hope the postie hasn't eaten them!

Update: They are located in the far North of Scotland (about 30 miles north of Inverness) - which doesn't help...  (Thanks Chrissie for pointing out that I missed this )


  1. Stace.

    Of course there is no need for you to be present.

    Sadly, but understandably, a lot of GPs and local health bodies are not aware of what is required.

    The problem is that over the last 20 years or so,the NHS has become a huge administrative monster, and is now very inflexible. When it comes to anything complicated it just grinds to a halt in confusion.

    So yes, find them a nearby gender specialist counsellor. It's not a lot, around £30 a time.

    You did not mention where they lived....


  2. I found my doctor's attitude changed a lot when I presented him with a copy of the guidance for GPs on the care of gender variant people.

  3. Chrissie: Thanks for pointing that out :) They are about 30 miles north of Inverness. Location is not on their side - there does not seem to be that much north of Perth (the other end of the A9).

    I've done a quick search online, but have not found anything yet.

    Jenny: I'll take a look and mail them the bits that I think may help them.


  4. Bloody hell...

    well, yes.. I can see location may well be a problem.

    I had to drive well over 200 miles to find one, and the journey to and from therapy took almost a full day. And your folks are even more remote than I, I think...

    There are some therapists who offer phone counselling. Not too sure if that is ideal in this case.

    Other than that,there are books.
    One of the easiest to read (and thus understand) is True Selves.

    I would recommend this one. Not everyone agrees with the author, but for plain language, ease of understanding and a sympathetic presentation of the subject, it's one of the best out there.


  5. Well...S is addicted to Mini Eggs too...
    Tesco has an Easter egg with Mini Egg mug, I got one for her. Send your parents quick!

    Yeah, NHS is rubbish. I've paid for *everything*.
    My mum needed a counsellor too, and had to pay for it.
    I guess I've just accepted it.

  6. Chrissie: Yup. It used to be easy going to visit (we could even make weekend visits), but the move up north made things... Interesting.

    Thanks for the link - I guess I have some ordering to do...

    Nicky: That sounds cool :) Shame I don't have the trust in the Dutch / English posties in getting it here safely :(

    I have the idea that it it's going to happen it's going to cost, and like you, I'll do my best to foot the bill should they need to pay (doesn't always work as my mum normally refuses to take any money from me...)


  7. I gave my Parents a copy of True selves also. I have to say a lot of the early chapters were not reflective of my experiance but it did give an overview.
    We have just bought my mother in law a book I bought at Amazon the other day. It is called "transgender explained for those who are not"
    It arrived yesterday so I havent read it yet but at first glance it looks like it will give a very useful overview.
    The link is

    It is written by a woman who transitioned.

    I also know a very good therapist who I speak to via phone, and she specialises in Gender. She has written papers and presented at many seminars and Gender conferences.
    She charges £30.00 per hour for a 3 session booking.
    Let me know if you want her details.
    Take care.

  8. Thanks Lisa - I'll add the book to the shopping list. I have to call my parents over the weekend and I'll ask mum what she thinks to the phone counciling. If she likes the idea I'll ask you for the details.


  9. Oh, I missed this post the first time round. I've heard good things about the Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow, where I know people who have been referred. Looking at their website, I see that it appears to come under the aegis of 'sexual health', but perhaps it would be prudent to ignore that if poss. Glasgow is a loong way from Inverness, too... though they might be able to come up with informed suggestions for someone more local... perhaps the best thing for your folks is to do some background reading; there are some useful books available.

    My copy of Bornstein's 'Gender Outlaw' (not one I would suggest as useful reading for parents :-) came via Amazon from a small village in Argyllshire. It was an ex-library copy that had been taken out once. By the person who had ordered it, presumably. I wonder how they are getting on in rural Argyllshire....

  10. Unfortunately Dru, Glasgow is also quite a drive away yes - why did they have to go so far away... Parents - what can you do with them :) (from the child who switched countries ;) )

    I think I'm going to order the two books linked to by Chrissie and Lisa and give them a read, before taking them to my parents on my next visit.