National Gender Identity Healthcare Reference Group minutes: August 2023

Minutes of the meeting of the group held on 29 August 2023

Attendees and apologies

  • Dr Ewan Bell, (Co-chair), Associate Medical Director, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Dr Paul Connelly, Clinical Lecturer in Diabetes & Endocrinology, University of Glasgow
  • Linsey Galbraith, Principal Information Analyst, Public Health Scotland
  • Jane Harris, Head of Programme, Postgraduate and Post-registration Education and Continuing Professional Development, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Catriona Johnson, Associate Director, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Dr Anna Lamont, Medical Director, National Procurement Commissioning and Facilities, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Jennifer Layden, Health Improvement Scotland
  • Kimberley MacInnes, Service Manager, Raigmore Gender Identity Clinic, NHS Highland
  • Rhoda Macleod, Head of Sexual Health, Prison and Police Services, Sandyford Gender Identity Clinic, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • David Parker, Senior Educator, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Dr Ruth Pearce, Lecturer, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Michelle Watts, Senior Medical Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Representative, LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • Lived Experience Coordinator
  • Representative, Scottish Trans
  • Representative, LGBT Youth Scotland


  • Professor Nicola Steedman, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Scottish Government
  • Richard Anderson, Deputy Director, Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh
  • Adam Black, Nurse Consultant/ Clinical Nurse Manager Sexual & Reproductive Health, Chalmers Gender Identity Clinic, NHS Lothian
  • Colin Briggs, Director of Strategic Planning, NHS Lothian
  • Dr Fiona Gibson, Specialty Doctor, Gender and Sexual Health Services, NHS Highland
  • Kathryn Kinnear, Service Manager, Elmwood Gender Identity Clinic, NHS Grampian
  • Katrina Mitchell, LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • Dr Fiona Wardell, Standards and Indicators Team Lead, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Representative, TransParentSees

Items and actions

Welcome and minutes of previous meeting

Ewan Bell (EB) welcomed attendees to the twelfth meeting of the National Gender Identity Healthcare Reference Group (the Group). Apologies were noted.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved by those attending and EB noted that these will be published online in due course.

It was noted that the secretariat has confirmed plans for a hybrid meeting to be held in October. The secretariat will be in touch in due course to confirm arrangements. 

Policy update

The Scottish Government provided an update on current workstreams.

Progress and completion of previous actions arising from the last meetings were noted.

An update was provided regarding funding allocation issued to Boards for financial years 2022/23 and 2023/24.

The Group were provided with an update that, following discussion with NHS England to determine what form of engagement, if any, may be appropriate with its planned study into the use of puberty blockers as a treatment option for gender dysphoria, Scottish Government/NHS Scotland intended to join the study development process as an observer.

It was also confirmed that the Scottish Government has begun the process of exploring commissioning an independent evaluation of funded service improvements  as committed in the NHS gender identity services: strategic action framework 2022-2024. The Group discussed draft aims of evaluation with further discussion expected at the next meeting.

University of Glasgow – introduction, research and next steps

A brief introduction was given to the Group regarding the research team at the University of Glasgow and the planned work and expected timelines on research on long term health outcomes for those accessing gender identity healthcare.

Public Health Scotland - update/next steps

An update was provided on preliminary data collected to date in relation to gender identity clinic waiting times. The quality of data collected is improved on that collected for the pilot in late 2022. It was confirmed further work is required and is ongoing within Public Health Scotland to deliver the current commission, prior to data being published in due course.

NHS Education for Scotland - early proposals for resource/training development in 2024

A proposal to extend the current NHS Education for Scotland (NES) commission to support implementation of the Transgender Care Knowledge and Skills Framework was presented and discussed.

The Group supported the proposal as provided.

Follow up – 2021 Framework - Group feedback

The secretariat presented a summary from the framework discussion at the last meeting, including additional feedback from those who were not in attendance.

Overall, members responded that work to deliver implementation of the 2021 Framework for NHS gender identity service improvement is on the right track. It was  reflected that some areas of work are moving at a slightly slower pace than some Group members would have hoped, but the reasons behind these, e.g. the 2022 Emergency Budget Review and recruitment challenges, were noted as being outwith the control of the Group or NHS Scotland.

A discussion followed, reiterating that Group members felt that overall work underway in this field and continued progress was positive. It was generally noted that members recognised the importance of the Group being held accountable and avoiding complacency in light of progress to date. The Group recognised there is still much work to be completed which is currently underway, to address challenges in service delivery in this field.


No other business was raised and the meeting was closed.

Back to top