A first-of-its kind specialist sexual health service for trans people will be funded for at least two more years after receiving financial support from Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham councils.
The King’s College Hospital based service is run in partnership with cliniQ, a specialist organisation helping trans and non binary people access sexual health support. Since opening in April 2019 its holistic approach has received positive feedback from patients.
The site provides STI testing and treatment; contraception; cervical screening; hormone testing, injections and advice; sexual assault and hate crime support, housing advice and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment to prevent HIV transmission.
Although the primary focus of its resident staff – a doctor, nurse, support worker and counsellor – is sexual health, the groundbreaking clinic also works with other agencies including mental health support and social services.
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust announced the clinic would continue operating on Trans Day of Visibility, March 31.
Dr Michael Brady, a consultant in sexual health and HIV at King’s, and national advisor for LGBT health at NHS England, said: “Patients using our transgender sexual health service have told us that the care we provide helps people feel safe, respected and, in many cases, it changes peoples’ lives.
“Services like this one, delivered by King’s in partnership with cliniQ, provide essential care and support and it’s great to see the commitment from our local authority commissioners in continuing to support this vital service.”
Michelle Ross the founder of cliniQ, said: “cliniQ at King’s is fundamental in establishing trans and non-binary people’s health services in south London and further afield.
“At cliniQ sexual health and HIV are central to our services as are holistic health and wellbeing.
“Trans people are disproportionately affected by all health issues – it is cliniQ’s reason for beginning to change these inequalities.”
The feedback from patients has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It makes me feel relieved that someone is trying to help trans people,” said one patient.
“It’s so hard to transition, regrettably, and this service makes me feel safer.”