I have had difficulties accessing support in the past where GP awareness wasn’t up to date for LGBT people but at my current practice, they tell me they know of at least a dozen LGBT patients and it’s only a small surgery.

This is the only practice I’ve registered with that know me as Rachel and as a trans woman I have needed a lot of support.

I was fortunate that a previous doctor found me a Gender Identity Clinic who had a waiting list of only six months for an appointment; this was a long time ago as the waiting times to see a GIC now are two years or more.

They found the support I needed very quickly and having access to hormone therapy has made a vast improvement to my quality of life.

It’s important that my chemist is aware of the details of my prescription too. If they cannot get hold of the Oestrogen I need quickly, I can then work with my GP to get what I need as soon as possible. I always order my hormones early because I don’t need to be faced with any possible delay in accessing the treatment that I need.

Having my GP prescribe Oestrogen has made everything easier for me as I was prepared to buy hormones online. Although I’m aware you cannot be sure what you are getting that way but I thought as I was entering my fifties I didn’t have that long to wait to get on with it.

Things at one time got so bad that I did nearly commit suicide by jumping off the top (24th) floor of my flats but something made me stop myself from jumping. Afterwards I found out about a women’s support group at LGBT Foundation which helped me as to be without support now would just be unthinkable.

There needs to be a greater awareness of support services and I would like to see more trans advocates at GP surgeries. I feel safe where I live because people have gotten to know me and I have my GP to thank for writing a letter in support of me getting the accommodation I’m in now.

- Rachel, Trafford