Sheffield gender identity clinic: More staff brought in as waiting lists for Porterbrook Centre soar
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Official graphs published by the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust show how the waiting list for the clinic, run at the Porterbrook Centre, rose from around 1,300 in October 2020 to around 1,800 last September. The figures published in a report for the Board of Governors said at that point, the waiting list was 192.6 weeks. It is now up to 56 months, which is around four years and six months.
Governors were told that ‘significant recovery plans’ were in place, and that the increase in the waiting list was a direct result of demand exceeding capacity within the scope of current commissioned models.
A spokesperson for the Sheffield gender identity clinic, said: “We are here to help people who can be going through a traumatic time in their life – as an organisation we understand our waiting times are too long for someone to wait.
“We are doing everything to ensure people get a timely response and if someone is on the waiting list we offer help and guidance through our own peer support workers. They have lived experience of using our services.
“In addition we work closely with our partners at Gendered Intelligence. They offer free and confidential advice to anyone waiting to access our service.
“As an organisation we have recruited and trained more staff to make best use of our workforce and have increased the number of initial assessments since November 2022. We expect to further increase this incrementally by April.
“We publish up-to-date information about our waiting times for people who have been referred to us on our website. The longest waiting time is 56 months (as of December 2022).
“Our Porterbrook clinic is one of eight nationally in England and the issues we face are similar to those experienced elsewhere. We are working hard locally to address the challenges, making sure we reduce our waiting lists and improve our service user experience.”
The Porterbrook Centre says it provides specialist services to transgender and non-binary people, providing ‘culturally competent, developmentally appropriate and trans-affirmative professional care and management’.
The service is open to anyone over the age of 18 who has concerns about their gender identity.