Caring for people with life-limiting illness is one of the greatest privileges in healthcare. We see people at their most vulnerable and fragile as we try to listen and hear their story, help them live freely, and ultimately care for them with dignity and compassion as they die.
You can download the report as a .pdf file, available to view on your PC, laptop, or mobile device.
About the report
People who are trans and gender diverse deserve that support as much as anyone else. We have a legal duty to improve care both from the Health and Care Act 2022 and the Equality Act 2010 but we also have a moral duty to improve this simply because it’s the right thing to do.
I’m often asked why we should focus on such a small group of people when healthcare is stretched in so many ways. Evidence tells us making care better for one group makes it better for everyone. It is not one group versus another but rather, how can we make sure we provide the best care for all.
There is work to do for all marginalised communities and some amazing progress is being made with other groups. It is now time to help trans and gender diverse people as historically there has not been as much focus on their needs.
This report highlights so many challenges trans people face. The stripping away of who they are, their name, their pronouns, their personal care and the safety of their chosen family. The barriers to marrying and dying in the gender they’ve lived as.
The isolation they face from familial rejection. The constant work they are doing having to educate their healthcare providers on how to provide them with care. All this leaves them feeling exhausted, anxious and unwelcome.
Yet there are some rays of light, of care that is individualised, of work that is inclusive and an openness to learn and develop services. I hope that this report is a starting point to make such care the standard across the sector. I know it will not change everything overnight but it is the start of a conversation.
It is a call to develop research, training and policy so that when trans people come through the door we are ready, secure in the knowledge they will be cared for as their whole selves. It is also an opportunity for healthcare leaders to see trans-inclusion as a priority and place it high on their agenda, both in terms of improving policy and training but also in reaching out to the community and making them know that they will be given high quality care in our services.
I hope that throughout my career we can improve the care we give to the trans and gender diverse community and that one day, when I turn to face death, I can focus on the life I’ve lived and the loves I’ve shared rather than worry about if I’m welcome.
Foreword written by Dr Ellie Kane, Consultant in Palliative Medicine