So following my appointment with Dr Shetti last week he was happy to refer me for surgery.. Indeed he was basically happy to before I walked through the door and what I told him probably only re-enforced an already strong opinion. With my new sport of Roller Derby (see the Ditzy Roller Girl ) I ticked a box for myself that I hadn’t been asked to by the GIC, but of course Shetti would see that as a positive. He then encouraged me to write a letter of complaint to Porterbrook as their insistence that I get my second surgery referral from Leeds GIC with the associated delays that causes was something that he agreed, in my case, was causing major non-clinical delays.
When Dr Shetti initially told me, via the phone, I’d done some research and it soon became clear that, unbeknown to me, Porterbrook had mishandled my case. Various guidelines on the NHS website stipulate a series of conditions which weren’t met by Porterbrook.
Firstly when I arrived their, they insisted on doing a full re-assessment of 4 appointments. Not only was this assessment wrong as they should have taken the assessment that I was Gender Dysphoric from CHX and thus simply taken on board that they said I needed T-blockers after 3 months if the bloods hadn’t seen a particular level. In the event it took 4 months or more for me to finally get T-blockers.
Secondly they I was told they wouldn’t refer until (depending on which appointment I had) I was on hormones for 12 months or they had been seeing me for 12 months – the former is right on some guidelines although I think the real condition is “Surgery won’t happen until you’ve been on hormones for 12 months, however you can be referred once you’ve been living full time for 12 months” – either way they should have been referring me in February, not ‘still waiting’.
All this means there have been, and continue to be, some major non-clinical delays in my treatment, and it turns out that makes things strong in my case. In one of the guidelines which can be found on NHS Policy Guidelines the case of Watts v. Bedford Primary Care Trust & Secretary of State for Health is mentioned, and essentially because any delays from this point forward are non-clinical.
So we’ll see what happens, ultimately if Porterbrook stick to their guns I’m in a worst case scenario so nothing to loose by fighting it. I’ll start with the letter to Porterbrook and go from there and then use other complaint lines such as PALS if needed.