UK – How long do i have to wait on the NHS for a sex change operation?

UK – How long do i have to wait on the NHS for a sex change operation?



Transgender Zone
Abstract [Full Text] PDF
“Waiting times eh that’s why the NHS labels  you a patient!'”



Full Text
Often funding bodies who unduly delay referrals for transsexual people to gender clinics live under the assumption they will have to fund surgery within the next fiscal year – as you can see this is NOT the case and anyone who plans on requesting a referral from their GP (or family doctor) should print this out and take it along for them to see.


Waiting time

These are the general times


  • From the moment you request treatment and assuming the Primary Care Trust is sympathetic to your needs and does not unduly delay you – if they do then we step into the how long is a piece of string ‘postcode lottery’ but lets say it all goes like clockwork OK ?
  • GP refers to local mental health team average waiting time 2 months
  • Mental Health refer back to GP usually 2 months
  • GP refers to Gender Clinic


  • Gender Clinic need funds so Local Health Authority have to fund an ECR Extra Contractual Referral
  • This takes time too as its bureaucracy so dont blame the messenger (ie CX) as most do
  • Funding is granted – for consultations
  • contact is made with GP
  • Appointment date is usually up to 6 months from the First contact
  • 1st appointment
  • 2nd appointment up to 4 months later may prescribe hormones
  • Real life test discussion – assuming there are no problems starting this immediately e.g. family, work and so on – to commence immediately is better than delaying this as this takes rather a long time and you have plenty of time to think about wheither or not this is the right course of action for you to take, if you delay everything else is pushed back as long as it takes for you to get going – then you are expected to change your name by a ‘statutory declaration’ and dress and present in the acquired gender.
  • So lets say this will commence at the next appointment – this is another 4 months
  • RLT begins – 2 years minimum on the NHS 1 year private
  • At the end of the RLT referral to Head of clinic for referral for surgery if thst is still what you want HOC will probably try to talk you out of it so they know you are still certain this is what you want
  • Another 4 months meet surgeon
  • And up to another 6 to 8 months for surgery date that can be cancelled and moved depending on their work load
  • So a total of 4.5 years!
  • and that’s is everything goes like clockwork but nothing goes like clockwork on the NHS
  • so print this off and give it to your G.P. If the PCT refuses to fund your first referral as this may well change their minds.


Citation: Transgendr Zone forum discussion.