Q0. How many times will I have to see Dr Curtis?
Ans: From a patient safety and good care perspective it is necessary for prospective patients to undertake a series of consultations as appropriate follow up, particularly when and if hormone therapy is started. After the initial consultation patients should anticipate attending for a further three consultations spread at roughly three month intervals throughout the first year. After the first year, the frequency will depend on the individuals current circumstances.
Unless this level of commitment to your care is accepted, it is ethically inappropriate to prescribe or give advice on prescribing to other health care professionals. Ongoing follow up is in everyone's best interests and is much more likely to lead to a more favourable long term outcome. All new patients will be expected to agree to the above principles of care prior to their initial appointment.
Q1. Do I need to bring anything to the 1st appointment?
Ans: Details of any previous treatment in the form of letters from clinicians, statutory declarations / deed poll documents and if you wish, a short biography of your gender history.
Q2. Do I need a GP letter?
Ans: A GP letter is not mandatory but would be highly desirable, particularly in those patients who have other medical issues and are on multiple medications. A letter can be brought at the time of consultation or sent beforehand.
Q3. Do you work to The W.P.A.T.H. guidelines?
Ans: The short answer to this is Yes. The current medico legal climate dictates that I must adhere to these for the safety of all. Although, in some instances, there will need to be a degree of flexibility.
Q4. Do you see patients younger than sixteen years old?
Ans: Not at present.
Q5. Do you see sixteen to eighteen year olds?
Ans: I am happy to see sixteen to eighteen year old patients, ideally with the full support of their parents and it is extremely useful if both parents can attend the initial consultation.
Q6. Can I get my PCT to fund my consultations with you?
Ans: It can be possible to arrange funding from your PCT to obtain care via the London Gender Clinic. However, this can be difficult to obtain, particularly in the current NHS financial climate. I am happy to correspond with PCTs on this. Several PCTs do currently commission my services.
Q7. Do I have to come dressed in my desired gender role?
Ans: It is not necessary to come dressed in role. Changing facilities are available upon request.
Q8. Do you prescribe hormones on the first visit?
Ans: For a new patient, the answer is essentially no. Some patients will undoubtedly have fulfilled The W.P.A.T.H. guidelines for receiving a prescription and I therefore take each case on its individual merit. Much will depend upon the practicalities of the arrangements for having blood tests and obtaining a prescription.
Q9. Is the service confidential?
Ans: The London Gender Clinic is a completely confidential service. All patients are required to advise whether they wish their GP to be informed of their treatment or not as well as their preferred method of contact.
Q10. How long will I have to wait for a prescription of hormones?
Ans: It should be noted that patients do not need to have lived for a year in role prior to the prescription of hormones.