National Gender Identity Healthcare Reference Group: winter 2023 to 2024 update

An overview of the work progressed since the National Gender Identity Healthcare Reference Group's first meeting.


The Scottish Government is committed to advancing equality for all LGBTI+ people, and promoting, protecting and realising the rights of every trans person in Scotland.

We are also committed to improving the lives of trans people, who continue to suffer poorer outcomes relative to the wider population, including mental and physical health.

In line with those commitments, in December 2021, the Scottish Government published the Framework for NHS gender identity service improvement. This Framework sets out how the Scottish Government is working with partners to  improve access to, and delivery of, NHS gender identity services.

National Gender Identity Healthcare Reference Group

The National Reference Group’s membership includes people with lived experience of using NHS gender identity services, as well as clinicians, academics and representatives from NHS health boards and LGBTI+ support organisations.

While attendance at individual meetings varies, listed below are a number of organisations represented in the Group.

Territorial health boards

There are fourteen territorial health boards in Scotland. They provide most day-to-day healthcare to people in Scotland. Of these fourteen, four currently offer gender identity healthcare services:

  • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • NHS Lothian
  • NHS Grampian
  • NHS Highland

Each of these four health boards sends a clinical and strategic lead to represent their health board in the reference group.

National health boards

There are eight special health boards in Scotland, which support the territorial health boards by providing a range of specialist and national services. Four of these special boards are represented in the reference group:

  • Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS)
  • Public Health Scotland (PHS)
  • NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)
  • NHS Education for Scotland (NES)

There is more information about what these boards do later in this update.

Voluntary sector organisations

There are a number of third sector LGBTI+ organisations which contribute to the group. These include:

  • Scottish Trans
  • LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • Transparentsees
  • LGBT Youth Scotland

There is also a Lived Experience Co-ordinator, who ensures the voices of people who have accessed services or are waiting to access them are heard. Further information on the Co-ordinator’s role is detailed in the work taking place section of this fact sheet.



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