A network of GPSIs will be established as part of the new adult gender identity service so that more care can be provided closer to people’s homes.
Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething, announcing the plans to coincide with this weekend's Pride Cymru, said that Wales would also have its first specialist hospital-based gender identity service.
The new service is aiming to improve access to treatment, reduce waiting times and provide a better user experience for transgender people needing care.
Mr Gething said: ‘Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in demand for transgender health services in Wales. The new services I’m announcing today means all but the most specialist services will soon be delivered in Wales, closer to people’s homes, which will improve access and experience for people needing care. I look forward to seeing great improvements to those services.’
Under the plans, an interim care pathway will be in place by early autumn. A new multidiciplinary service - the Welsh Gender Team - will take direct referrals from GPs and provide support to GPs with a special interest in gender care. The team will initially prescribe medication for people who have attended appointments at the Gender Identity Clinic in London.
From the end of March 2018 the Welsh Gender Team will accept new referrals and also take on patients already on the waiting list for treatment if they wish to be treated in Wales.
Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of GPC Wales, said: ‘GPC Wales is delighted to see how Welsh government has taken a proactive approach to listening and addressing the holistic care needs that the transgender community has. We’re also pleased that this will involve GPs with specialist interest being a pivotal part of the proposed service, and all GPs involved in the patient journey, with clarity on referral pathways being a first for the UK.’