TENI is shocked to learn that over 100 patient referrals to the National Gender Service at St. Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown have been misplaced.
TENI has been contacted by the National Gender Service (NGS) at St. Colmcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown. The NGS has advised us that over 100 patient referrals, which should have been placed on their own waiting list, have been misplaced on other waiting lists. We understand that these patients have been on incorrect lists for up to three years, waiting on an appointment, without any communication or notification from the NGS. We understand that the NGS will write to each of the individuals affected. This letter will outline the situation and request that the patient make contact with the NGS. We also understand that the NGS team intend to speak with every individual affected by this issue and to determine, on a case-by-case basis, how to proceed.
We are shocked and disappointed at this disregard for patients. This will have a devastating impact on our community. It is a breach of trust. Our community told us that they were waiting too long, that their referrals were lost in the system and that they were not being kept informed. We knew that these concerns were valid. Now the National Gender Service has finally admitted that their system has failed us.
TENI has consistently raised these issues, but we have not received an acceptable response to our concerns. Trans people experience a higher incidence of negative mental health outcomes than the general population. Poor mental health in our community is often exacerbated by the lack of appropriate gender-affirming health services. Trans people deserve accessible and timely healthcare; care that is person-centred and based on international best practice.
TENI held a crisis meeting on Monday, 4th November, with the NGS clinical lead and other members of the NGS team, to understand what happened, to ensure it never happens again and to figure out how TENI can support those affected. We sought assurances and received commitments from the NGS team that they would put resources and practices in place to resolve this issue. We will continue to communicate with the NGS team to ensure that these matters are dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner.
This is what we know so far. As and when we have any new information, we will keep you updated through our social media channels, our email newsletter and here on teni.ie.
If you are one of the people whose referral was misplaced, you should receive a letter from the National Gender Service with details of how to contact them. A member of the NGS team has been assigned to each affected individual and the NGS team member will have a phone conversation with that person to assess their needs and to determine how best to accommodate them in the National Gender Service.
If you have not received a letter and believe that you should have been contacted about an appointment, please contact the National Gender Service by phone at (01) 211 5045 or by email at email@example.com.
If you are already on the waiting list for the National Gender Service, your time on that waiting list may now be longer than expected. The NGS have informed us that they intend to communicate with everyone on the NGS waiting list and give them an updated expected wait-time. In order to do this, they have to assess the needs of those whose referral was misplaced and to decide if and where they will be added to the existing NGS waiting list.
We recognise that this may be very distressing news and we are going to do everything we can to help everyone who is affected by this. We have asked volunteers to help us, over the next few weeks, to ensure that we are available to anyone who needs us. TENI is here to support you.
If you’ve been affected, are concerned or are unsure of what to do, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, a dedicated email account created to support people in this situation, or you can call us on our office number, (01) 873 3575.
If you are in crisis or need urgent support, you can call the LGBT Helpline on 1890 929 539. You can also contact the Samaritans at 116 123 or Pieta House at 1800 247 247.
Our Gender Identity Family Support Line, for family members of trans people, runs every Sunday from 6pm to 9pm on 01 907 3707.
You can show your support for a better trans healthcare service in Ireland by signing your name and/or your organisation’s name on our open letter.
If you have been affected by this news and would like to take action you can do so by making an official complaint.
To submit a complaint you can fill out this feedback form and send it in making sure to address it to Hilary Flynn, the A/Deputy Hospital Director in St. Columcilles Hospital, Loughlinstown.
Alternatively, you can email your complaint directly to Hilary Flynn herself. Make sure to include the following details:
- Name/Number/Email address.
- Which service you are referring to.
- Where the incident took place.
- When it took place.
- Describe in detail what happened.
- Send to email@example.com.
If you would like to make a complaint but would like some help we would be happy to talk you through the process over the phone.