National Gender Identity Healthcare Reference Group minutes: May 2022

Minutes of the meeting of the group held on 25 May 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Professor Nicola Steedman, (Co-Chair), Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Scottish Government
  • Dr Ewan Bell (Co-Chair), Associate Medical Director, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Dr Fiona Wardell, Standards and Indicators Team Leader, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Jennifer Layden, (Guest), Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Ryan McLeod, Development Worker, LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • Paul Daly, Policy and Research Manager, LGBT Youth Scotland
  • David Parker, Lead Clinician, National Gender Identity Clinical Network for Scotland
  • Dr Amber Keenan, Clinical Lead, NHS Grampian
  • Jenny McNicol, Acute Director of Nursing and Midwifery, NHS Grampian
  • Nicky Coia (Guest), Health Improvement Manager (Sexual Health), NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Neil Ferguson, Head of Planning, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Rhoda Macleod, Head of Sexual Health, Prison and Police Services, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Dr Louise Melvin, Interim Clinical Lead, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Dr Sarah Weldon, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Dr Fiona Gibson, Clinician, NHS Highland
  • Jane Harris, Head of Programme, Postgraduate and Post-Registration Education and Continuing Professional Development, NHS Education for Scotland
  • Colin Briggs, Director of Strategic Planning, NHS Lothian
  • Dr Anna Lamont, Medical Director, National Procurement Commissioning and Facilities, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Traci Leven (Guest), Traci Leven Research,
  • Mairi Watson Information Consultant, Public Health Scotland
  • Scottish Government Policy Team
  • Dr Michelle Watts, Senior Medical Adviser – Primary Care, Scottish Government
  • Vic Valentine Manager, Scottish Trans Alliance
  • Evelyn Sheerin, Parent representative, TransparentsTees


  • Dr Richard Anderson, Deputy Director Centre for Reproductive Health ,University of Edinburgh
  • Adam Black, Nurse Consultant/ Clinical Nurse Manager, NHS Lothian

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Ewan Bell (EB) welcomed attendees to the third meeting of the national gender identity healthcare reference group (the group). Apologies were noted, minutes of the previous meeting were approved and completion of previous actions arising from the last meeting were noted. 

Members agreed minutes would now be published on the Scottish Government website.

Presentation on a trans-specific report as part of a national LGBT health needs assessment

Traci Leven (TL) presented the group with findings of a trans-specific report, outlining people’s experiences of accessing gender identity services and other NHS services. This is extrapolated from a broader, national LGBT health needs assessment being prepared for publication that was funded Public Health Scotland, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian. Information was gathered over several years to inform this assessment.

TL outlined key findings to date, including highlighting significantly poorer health outcomes for trans and non-binary people as a result of being unable to access timely gender identity healthcare.

TL and Nicky Coia answered questions from the group and a full discussion took place on the presented findings.

Kirstin Leath (KL) confirmed that, once published, the full report will be shared with Scottish Government colleagues across other relevant areas.

Policy update

An update from Scottish Government was provided, outlining developments relevant to commitments contained within the December 2021 strategic action framework.

It was advised that there has been a bid from an organisation to host a lived experience co-ordinator role for this group. Further information will be available in due course.

Public Health Scotland update 

Mairi Watson (MW) provided a brief update on progress to date within Public Health Scotland, on work to improve data collection and reporting in this area. A more substantive update will be provided at a future meeting.

A discussion took place recognising the importance of having robust, nationally agreed data available in order to help inform clinical service improvement. It was confirmed collated information would be published publically, once available.

 Health improvement Scotland

Fiona Wardell (FW) presented on a draft Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) commission to develop national standards for NHS gender identity services. A short presentation on what health standards are, why they would be required and what they help achieve.

A substantive discussion took place on scope, accountability and whether indicators would be part of his work. The group proposed HIS works with PHS to ensure data collected is meaningful. FW advised the Group that there is scope to include the elements they feel are relevant.

NHS Education for Scotland

Jane Harris (JH) presented on a draft NHS Education for Scotland (NES) commission, to complete development of a Transgender Care Knowledge and Skills Framework as well as explore opportunities for NHS staff training and improved resources, to support best care and practice for trans people accessing NHS Scotland.

Close links to other workstreams progressing to improve NHS gender identity service/healthcare were noted, NES positive this work will have real impact on staff and fulfil a need for workforce resources.

A discussion took place on mandatory training, and limitations on making resources mandatory.

It was agreed that the secretariat would revisit the draft commission, taking into account the comments and discussion from the group.

Gender reassignment protocol review

David Parker provided an overview of the continued work to review and update the Gender Reassignment Protocol. This is progressing on time.

Close and date of next meeting

No further business was raised. EB closed the meeting.

Next meeting: Wednesday 6 July 09:00 to 11:00.​​

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