Gender dysphoria

Policy guidelines

NHSScotland Gender Reassignment Protocol

The Gender Reassignment Protocol was issued to NHS Boards on July 11 2012. 

The Gender Reassignment Protocol contains a number of therapies and surgical procedures, which the patient and their gender clinician should discuss in detail to find the most appropriate treatment pathway. 

The protocol sets out the treatment pathway from initial enquiry to completion and enables the patient to have a say in decisions about their healthcare.

Any treatment for gender dysphoria in Scotland should follow the protocol.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act, 2010 protects transsexual people from discrimination and harassment in various areas, such as work or the provision of goods and services.

The Act does not require a person to be under medical supervision to be protected. For  example someone born with male sex characteristics who decides to live permanently as a woman, but does not consult a doctor or undergo any medical procedures, would be protected.

The Act also protects people associated with them, such as family members, as well as others who are perceived to be transsexual. 

Gender Recognition Act 2004

Under the Gender Recognition Act of 2004, transsexual men and women can:

To apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate you must be over 18 years of age. The application process requires you to prove that:

  • you have or have had gender dysphoria 
  • you have lived as your preferred gender for the last two years 
  • you intend to live permanently in your preferred gender.

Patient Advice and Support Service

The Patient Advice and Support Service is an independent service which provides free, accessible and confidential information, advice and support to patients, their carers and families about NHS healthcare.  

The service:

  • can provide you with information, advice and support if you want to give feedback or comments, or raise concerns or complaints, about healthcare provided by NHS Scotland
  • helps you understand your rights and responsibilities as a patient
  • works with the NHS in Scotland to improve healthcare provision 

The Patient Advice and Support Service can be accessed from any Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland.