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​gtd healthcare and LGBT Foundation to Launch New Adult Trans Health Service in Greater Manchester

Published: 25 September 2020 Tags: By LGBT Foundation

We are proud to announce that Indigo Gender Service, a new NHS adult gender service pilot, will be launching in Greater Manchester later this year. Indigo Gender Service will provide the services offered by the seven existing gender identity clinics, but in a non-specialised and primary care setting.

Indigo Gender Service is a partnership between gtd healthcare, a not-for-profit organisation with an established presence of primary care and urgent care services in the north-west, and LGBT Foundation, a national charity delivering services, advice and information for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities.

We know that trans and non-binary people are the experts of their own experience, and that is why this service has been developed by and for trans communities. Our services are trans led, with trans and non-binary people guiding and feeding into them at all levels.

Nico, Indigo Gender Service coproduction group member, said having a service designed and run by trans and non-binary people is significant.

“For many in the community, this is an unbelievable idea,” they said.

“This is what makes this service so exciting. To be able to seek support and be accepted at their word, rather than policed. I am proud to be a part of the group of trans and non-binary people who have been consulted since day one."

Our service will offer trans and non-binary people different ways to access support services, including assessment and diagnosis for gender incongruence. This includes holistic assessments of an individual’s needs and will offer referrals and signposting to other services.

Our support is person centred – we recognise that there are as many ways to be trans and non-binary as there are trans and non-binary people in the world and we tailor our support to meet each person’s individual needs. A team of care navigators with lived experience will work with service users to help them to get the most out of the service and enable them to connect with local organisations across Greater Manchester.

Dr Luke Wookey, Indigo Gender Service’s clinical lead, said he is delighted to be leading on a service, which will embrace and transform care for trans and non-binary communities across Greater Manchester.

“We can’t underestimate the importance of Indigo Gender Service and its potential to have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of trans and non-binary people,” he said.

“This is a hugely exciting time and an opportunity to enhance people's experience and inclusivity within primary care.

“Indigo Gender Service is long-awaited. Trans and non-binary communities deserve, as a minimum, to receive care that is closer to home and in a timely manner.

“Fundamentally, the pilot recognises the important role that primary care can play in delivering trans and non-binary healthcare in an unique and collaborative way and I am delighted to be part of committed team to drive forward this fantastic service.”

We want to make sure that care is safe, inclusive and affirmative. We will do this by supporting trans and non-binary people to be well informed about their choices by sharing knowledge, explaining options, promoting health, and trusting people to make decisions that are right for them.

We’re taking a multidisciplinary approach to care, bringing together knowledge and expertise from different fields and backgrounds to ensure our service delivers the highest quality care to trans communities. Indigo Gender Service will be staffed by an experienced primary care team from the Greater Manchester healthcare system and will also receive clinical support from the gender identity clinic at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Indigo Gender Service is planned to open later this year. The service will initially focus on supporting people who are on a waiting list for a gender identity clinic appointment, are already registered with a GP in Greater Manchester and are eligible for NHS treatment.

If you have any questions about this service, including eligibility and how to access, check out our FAQs below. We will be announcing further details on Indigo Gender Service in due course.

Job Opportunities

Indigo Gender Service is looking to recruit to the following roles:

Indigo Gender Service FAQ

What is the Indigo Gender Service?

Indigo Gender Service is a Greater Manchester based pilot for a new way of delivering trans healthcare. We are a partnership between gtd healthcare and LGBT Foundation to deliver a service designed for and by trans and non-binary communities.

Who can access Indigo?

In order to be a patient with us at the beginning of the pilot, you must be aged 17+, be registered with a Greater Manchester GP, already be on a waiting list for a UK gender identity clinic (GIC) and not had your first appointment. In the future, we will be able to see patients who refer themselves to us as well as patients who are referred by their GP.

What makes Indigo different from GICs?

Indigo offers a new model to trans healthcare - whilst GICs are a specialised centre which all trans people must attend if they wish to pursue medical transition, Indigo is based in primary care. It takes a holistic view of transition, helping you with all elements - from hormones and laser hair removal, to legal name changes and voice coaching, to helping you meet other trans and non-binary people.

What can I expect my experience to look like?

Whilst everyone’s experience is unique, most will begin with a care navigator - someone from the trans and non-binary community who will guide you through whatever stages of transition you would like. We work with specially selected GPs with an interest in trans healthcare or similar to provide you with access to areas of medical transition, including hormone replacement therapy, voice and communication therapy and hair removal. We also offer a range of other support you may wish to access, including counselling and support with deed polls and updating documents. There is no one standard transition pathway, so you can choose the services that you wish to access without pressure to follow a specific route.

Is Indigo a private gender service?

No, Indigo is an NHS service, and we are free to access.

How can I transfer over to Indigo’s waiting list?

If you aged 17+ and meet all of the criteria to be able to access Indigo’s service at this time, you will be contacted via letter/email and will be given the opportunity to move over to Indigo’s waiting list.

Can I obtain top surgery through Indigo?

When the service first launches, Indigo will be able to refer you to our linked GIC in Nottingham for an assessment for top surgery. After one year, we will be able to refer you for top surgery directly.

Can I obtain lower surgery through Indigo?

Indigo can help by referring you to our linked GIC in Nottingham for an assessment for lower surgery, however we are currently unable to provide it as a service.

Who are the staff at Indigo?

Indigo employs and works with a range of people from an array of professional backgrounds. Many of the people working in both patient facing, administrative and senior roles are trans and/or non-binary themselves, and community members have been part of leading and designing the service from the very beginning.