"Pre Assessment Workshop January & March 2019"

About: Specialist services / Gender Identity Service (GIS)

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

This summary is a collation of all the feedback from participants who attended the Pre-Assessment Workshop at the Porterbrook Clinic Gender Identity Service in January and March 2019.

Patients who are currently on the waiting list for the Porterbrook Gender Identity Clinic are invited to an all day ‘Pre Assessment Workshop’. This attendance is optional and provides an opportunity to meet staff members and the clinic environment, to prepare themselves for first appointments and subsequent journey with the clinic. There is also an opportunity to speak to ‘Experts by Experience’ who have completed their transition.

‘All the staff at Porterbrook clinic are fantastic, supportive and clearly explain what to expect from my transition.’

‘It was unfortunate that the transmale speaker didn’t attend- I would have been interested ito hear this perspective. If there is capacity/availability I would like to attend a similar session but just for transmen.’

‘Can we do this on-line to allow for more time to consider please.’

‘Very attentive to questions and didn’t feel rushed. Very clear and very well structured.’

‘A very well presented, informal session, covered all points of interest but also this ‘pre assessment workshop allows you to feel involved in the ……. It allows you to find the site and meet the staff. Whilst it is not your assessment it is a very positive step forward on the journey.’

‘All my questions have been answered and reassured any fears I had.’

‘Disappointed. I was expecting assessment in April (55 weeks) – now told It’s October- that’s 6 months delay. I have concerns and was able to have 5 mins discussing because it’s private- not group. Would have liked more time. Information was easy to understand although vague at times. I would have liked more info on HRT effects, social transition, post- surgery.  Increase in waiting time is significant and disappointing.’

‘It was an excellent day and it was good to come to the clinic and to meet everyone. I was obviously disappointed that the waiting time has increased but I understand why.’

‘Slightly disappointed with the wait times but the reasons were understandable. Information was easy to understand, very thorough and patient. Staff were always ready to answer any questions I had.  Very friendly, helpful and approachable. Having the q&a with the people who had left invaluable.’

‘The workshop was very helpful in clarifying the process and definitely reassured me in my decision.’

‘This has been my first opportunity to speak face to face time with other trans people, which has been immense boost. I especially liked the experts by experience input.’

‘I’d like more information on early stages of transitioning eg. coming out and experimenting.’

‘I thought the opportunity to talk with ladies who have been through the service was invaluable. ‘

‘The staff were very open and accommodating. I would like more information on what to provide to GPs.’

‘Provided a good insight into the service.’

Everyone but one person agreed they were given sufficient opportunity to discuss any concerns.

Participants felt mostly worried, ok and anxious before the workshop however they felt supported, understood, reassured, confident and well-informed afterwards.

All participants said that the information given was easy to understand and that the session answered all the questions they had.

Most people were very satisfied with the session (71%),  25% mostly satisfied and 4% was unsure.

Responses

Response from Catherine Williamson, Senior Practitioner/ Clinical Manager, Gender Identity Service (GIS), Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS FT

The Pre-Assessment Workshop is something we have run at the Gender Clinic for several years. It is generally very positively received by participants which is reflected in the feedback. We acknowledge that it would be helpful to have more trans men who have been through the clinic to talk about their experiences. We have had difficulties recruiting volunteers to do this, but we keep trying! We are in the process of making a series of 'talking heads' videos, to include trans men and people who identify as non binary. These will be shown in the workshop when volunteers are not available.


As a clinic, we are exploring what we can offer by Skype and on line. While there are no immediate plans to offer the Pre-Assessment Workshop this way, this is certainly something we will consider. We realise that attending a group workshop can be difficult for people who live a long distance from the clinic or who can suffer from anxiety with larger numbers of people. We continue to develop the workshop in line with the feedback we receive from participants and from ideas generated by staff.

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