Leeds GIC

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snowdoggy
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Leeds GIC

Postby snowdoggy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:27 pm

In my opinion Leeds GIC have vastly improved since I first went there in 2003. There were some VERY unpleasant staff there back then. Including a senior psychiatrist who, at my evaluation, said I couldn't be trans because I had lived with a man for 12 years. Luckily one of the psychiatric nurses informed her that it was not unusual for FTMs to have relationships with men, I mean how uninformed was she? There was also a very unpleasant psych nurse who worked there back then too. Luckily the psych nurse I was assigned to long term was very nice. He has since left too though but my new one is even better than him and has bent over backwards to help me more than I think her job required of her with some depression problems I have been having recently.

Luckily ALL of these IMO "unpleasant" members of staff have moved on to pastures new, I pity the people who get them now, I know their names too but won't say for libellous reasons ;-)

I am about to be discharged by the way. The endo discharged me at my last visit as she has done all she can do for me now and got all my bloods/hormones correct and steady but my psych nurse is keeping me on until all of my ops are finished (2 left to go).

As far as waiting times to "start" transition I can't really help because I have been there so long now things may have changed since I started. They had really long waiting times back when I was first referred. I was initially referred in 2002 and they said they had stopped taking on any new patients to clear backlog so I had to wait a year before seeing anyone. Hopefully if anyone has just been referred recently they will be able to give more info on what it's like now. I had a letter saying they have taken on a new pharmacist which they hope may speed things up a bit.

As far as referrals for surgery goes, I can only tell you where they send FTMs. For chest reconstruction surgery they sent me to Leicester Royal Infirmary and for all 4 stages of lower surgery they refer to Harley Street (The London Team). This is a private clinic but the surgery is still paid for via the NHS. I have no idea where they refer MTFs for their surgery as none of the MTFs I am know are with Leeds GIC.

I don't know if this is of any help or interest to anyone but the people I am seeing there at the moment are Dr. Ayres deals with my endo work and bloods, a very nice and affable lady, I have just been discharged from having to see her anymore as all that is now sorted. Vanessa Noble is my psych nurse, really nice, laid back and VERY helpful and caring. Last but not least is Dr. Amal Beaini is my consultant psychiatrist who is also a very nice and helpful man.

It did take me a while longer to get on hormones at Leeds that others seem to do at Charing X at that time. They run by Harry Benjamin rules so you have to live for a year in your desired gender before being prescribed hormones and I also had a drink problem so that also delayed my treatment for a while but I am overjoyed by the overall treatment I have received from Leeds GIC.

One thing I would like to point out is that Leeds GIC organised all aspects of both my upper and lower surgery, including applying for all fundings on my behalf from my PCT and contacting the necessary surgeons to arrange dates for the ops etc., which I have heard that Charing X don't do (I may be wrong here though). This has taken a major amount off stress off me as I have heard of transfolk who have had all sorts of problems and worries over funding applications etc.

John
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

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Claire Yorks
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Re: Leeds GIC

Postby Claire Yorks » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:18 pm

The changes at Leeds are fractional rather than a change of outlook, for those who recall the Cold War they are akin to the difference between Stalin and Khrushchev but while one as learned how to smile alas they both adhere to the same values.

Amongst these values that are at the core of Leeds GIC’s methodology to be found within their operational policy are

Anything between four to six monthly assessment appointments before being accepted as a patient. In that time the patient is only seen Leeds GIC’s single psychiatrist twice, at the start and the end of the process the other appointments are mandatory and I have been told also pointless meetings with the nurse practitioners.

Beyond that a six month probation period for those who haven't transitioned during the assessment period. After which you are accepted as a ‘full time’ patient but if the patient in those six months hasn’t transitioned to the GIC’s satisfaction they are discharged.

Monitored RLE, thus beyond proof of name change etc proof that you are meeting the full time work/voluntary work/education. Verification by your employer or tutor presumably in the form of a letter addressed to ‘Dear Psychiatrist’

The employment of an occupational therapist to facilitate patients with their RLE experience.

The duration on the Leeds GIC books of on average anything between two to four years prior to surgery.

The monitoring of the patient Yahoo group by a member of the GIC staff.


Beyond the minutia of the ‘Leeds experience’ are deeper issues. Last year the GIC was dragged before a Halifax town council hearing into the GIC and they declined the offer to state that gender dsyphoria is not a mental illness. Now in 2006 they assumed that it was also an incurable illness which makes me wonder if the same attitude persists and colours their operational procedures. There have been several requests from town councils and patient groups over the last three years that the GIC moves out of the psychiatric unit to somewhere more in keeping with the care of the mentally well. The GIC steadfastly refuses to consider this.

The GIC as used its influence to shut down access to alternative providers with whom it does not have a working relationship (essentially that’s just Sheffield GIC). From 2006 to 2009 in Halifax (Calderdale) patients were permitted by the PCT to choose which GIC they wanted to be treated and overwhelming people chose to go to Curtis or CX. The next step would have been to bring care back to Halifax through the employment of local counselling services working with the gender psychiatrist. This would have been a model for care in the rest of Yorkshire. The PCT came within 3 days of authorising this when commissioning of gender services was moved to a regional body in which the GIC as considerable influence. At the GIC’s insistence the ‘local care model’ was scrapped and so too was the right of patients in Halifax to choose where to be treated.

In Halifax we have gone fill circle back to 2006 when the GIC as a monopoly of the patient base and for want of patients being able to leave the GIC and continue with NHS treatment, they have to keep smiling, rationalise their situation and endure.


Claire Eastwood
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Ice Maiden
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Re: Leeds GIC

Postby Ice Maiden » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:36 pm

surprisingly men and women and all those inbetween do get sick and are on benefits the system was not set up just to P*ss off psychiatrists at gender clinics

You should not have to worry about this - there is no shame in claiming benefits x
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Re: Leeds GIC

Postby snowdoggy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:46 am

Ice Maiden wrote:there is no shame in claiming benefits x


This is true I've been told but I'm still feeling it at the moment :oops:

John
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


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Re: Leeds GIC

Postby Felix » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:24 pm

Hi all Felix here :)

I have to say I do not agree with the above that we have to now wait 2 - 4 years before getting any surgical intervention :/

I had my first appointment at Leeds in December 2008 and they were totally satisfied with my evidence that I produced in the first consultation, so much so that within 5 days my GP prescribed hormones for me and I began my transition. I started my transition by going down an alternative viable route which can be found in an NHS document which outlines for managers a number of different routes one can take to transition. I had my assessments and by July 2009 I was on my way to Leicester to get my second opinion. I was given the CHOICE of clinics to go to for this being Sheffield or Leicester and under the advice of my nurse who has been top class I opted for Leicester.

The appointment at Leicester was straight forward and the consultant was quite happy to give me the diagnosis I required for all surgeries so as I didn't have to return again.

So to my surgeries and before I talk about this I would like to say I feel very lucky and very privileged to have gone through the system at the speed I have and to have had out standing care from every professional who has cared for me :)

I was asked by my nurse at Leeds if I wished to go to their contracted surgeons for my surgeries. Once again I was given PATIENT CHOICE which we do have if we are willing to go for it. First surgery was my chest the option in 2009 I was given was Mr Ward in Leicester. I had seen the results of his work and I thought they were good. But I really didn't want a bilateral mastectomy and my nurse told me to go and investigate other surgeons, so we did. My Advocate Helen Laws recommended the surgical team that she had been to for her breast augmentation in 2006. She had wanted to keep it local and the team was at the Cancer Breast Care Unit (centre of excellence) Castle Hill Hospital Hull. They did an excellent job on her and they treat genetic males and reconstruct their chests regularly. So I decided with her help to ask if the consultant Mr Kneeshaw would be intrested in removing and reconstructing my chest.

The response was immediate and I had an appointment in December 2009 to see him. He had sought advice from a top plastic surgeon in Oxford who teaches other plastic surgeons. He offered me removal and reconstruction which would be done sub areolae even though I was a 38 c/d chest. He also told me it would take a possible two years because I would have to have a number of lipo suctions first. My first lipo was January 2010, my second May 2010 and I had my chest lift and mastaplexy in November 2010 so way ahead of anything he thought possible and he is really pleased at its his first Trans man. I had this done in between stage one and two of lower surgery.

So I was lucky enough to meet Mr Ralph with a number of other men at Leeds GIC in 2009 and when I saw the results of his lower surgery work I knew this was for me. So in January 2010 we again approached Mr Ralph's team Helen referred me and my GP referred me while I was waiting for an appointment with Dr B at the GIC.By the time I got my appointment at Leeds we was already well on the way to lower surgery. I got my appointment in May in Harley Street and was able to tell Leeds about this as Dr B had already confirmed that he would refer me too. I was accepted for Lower surgery and decided although I was offered an earlier date to opt for September 2010 for my first stage. I had my first stage at Spire Thames Valley Hospital London which is private but is funded by the NHS. The care has been outstanding and I am very happy with the results so far. I had my chest reconstruction in the November at Castle Hill and then had stage two of lower surgery in December 2010 so yes all in all 5 surgeries in 11 months. So it is possible to go through this process now at a more desirable rate for your needs.

While I have been going through this process I have got to know a lot more men who are either starting out on the pathway or going through or had all the surgeries. It definitely is a much better service at the clinic than back in 2003 for example and earlier. People are definitely getting appointments quicker and if they fulfil the criteria are moving forward quicker. I do feel sometimes that the clinic is frowned harshly upon and quite often it is not their fault it is to do with PCTs and funding bodies and the contracts they have with others. They have fulfil guidelines and sometimes that gets in our way but there are always ways around protocol if you have someone who can guide you and help you through the process. I have proved that I feel.

Well hope this is ok its just my personal opinion on things I have witnessed.

Felix :)



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