The HSE has given no indication when a review of the model of care for transgender health services will take place.
The Report of the Steering Committee on the Development of Transgender Identity Services recommended “considering revisiting the model of care” developed by the HSE’s National Director of Quality Improvement, Dr Philip Crowley.
While the report was submitted in February 2020, it was only published at the end of the year. A HSE spokesperson said: “No formal review of the model of care has commenced to date.” The Executive acknowledged there are gaps in transgender healthcare, but that it was “endeavouring to provide solutions”.
There are currently no formal transgender services for adolescents in Ireland. However, the HSE is working with Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) to develop the area, including a focus on the mental health elements of this service. A consultant psychiatrist is due to be appointed to the Linn Dara inpatient unit, child and adolescent mental health services, and CHI.
“Recruitment to this post is ongoing and the multidisciplinary team is mostly already in post,” according to the spokesperson.
While awaiting the appointment of a full-time consultant endocrinologist, CHI in Crumlin has a locum endocrinologist in place with an interest in gender incongruence. Training courses have also been established to upskill existing community mental health teams in sensitivities and requirements of transgender specific services. This is due to be rolled out nationally. At present there are two categories of training in place: Transgender awareness training and gender identity skills training. The spokesperson said another category will be launched in July 2021. Speaking on services unavailable in Ireland, the HSE said there are options in a number of EU jurisdictions “pending the further development of a national service”.