Long wait for first Nottingham GIC appointment

Crikey, ages since my last post. *Slaps own wrist* So I thought I’d better write an update. As you know, I was referred to Nottingham GIC on September 7 last year – so about 13 and a half months ago – and I’m still waiting.

The waiting list back then was a year between referral and first meeting. So I fired off an email to the clinic to ask: why the delay?

I wrote thus:

I realise the waiting list is now 16 months for people referred now [according to the clinic’s own website] but I had expected to have had my meeting by now as I was referred so long ago.
As it is, I’ve not even received a letter about when my first meeting might be.
I’m sorry to pester you, I realise the long waiting list isn’t your fault and I’m sure you must get many similar emails from other transgender people who are finding the long wait really hard.
But do you have any idea of when my first appointment might be?
Also, is it possible to be prescribed testosterone blockers in the meantime to keep the gender dysphoria at bay? I have read about people being prescribed “bridging hormones” but am not sure how I’d go about this.
I received the following back from the clinic co-ordinator:
I can confirm that we received your referral in September last year. The waiting time for a first appointment is now in excess of 18 months, this is due to the increase in the number of referrals we are receiving. As to your question regarding bridging hormones, we don’t advise this and only recommend hormone treatment when a patient is being seen and in the treatment programme.
Groan. Over 18 months?!
I replied:
Hi, thanks for your reply. I appreciate the wait may be 18 months for someone referred now, but the wait was 12 months when I was referred 13.5 months ago. Can you give me a rough indication of when my first appointment might be?
And their reply:
The wait for a first appointment has risen due to the demand on the service and a stacking system. I can appreciate that when you were first referred the wait was 12 months, but due to the process of seeing patients this creates a stacking system and we were not expecting such a high volume of referrals, hence the longer wait now. I have just booked patients in that were referred in June last year, so a rough indication of your appointment would be perhaps April next year. However, can I emphasise that this is just a rough estimate. Again, I’m sorry I can’t be more specific about times.
Next April?! That’s actually more like 19 months and, knowing my luck, the waiting period will have increased even more by then.
And, of course, this would only be my first appointment. There’s then another six months from that point before you find out whether or not you can take hormones or not.
So over two years – and I’m still worried that I could be told “no” at the end of it all. For heaven’s sake, NHS, sort this out!

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