New standards of care for trans and gender diverse children and adolescents

The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, 2017

The first Australian Standards of Care and Treatment Guidelines for trans and gender diverse children and adolescents, led Led by the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, have been released.

Dr Michelle Telfer, Head of Adolescent Medicine and Gender Services at the RCH, says health professionals, such as GPs, school counsellors and psychologists, from around the country often seek information from the RCH but until now only international guidelines had been available.

“With 1.2% of adolescents identifying as transgender, and referrals and requests for specialist support on the rise, there is definitely a need for Australia to have its own guidelines. Trans-medicine is a relatively new area of medical practise, and most doctors didn’t get taught how to manage the care of trans children and adolescents in medical school or in their later specialist training. These guidelines, developed by leaders in this field, will help to fill this knowledge gap,” she says.

The guidelines were developed using current evidence and the input of more than 50 specialists, and they have the endorsement of the Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health.

The guidelines include terminology, information about the unique clinical needs, treatment information, and the role of the various medical disciplines involved in the care.

Trans and gender diverse children and teenagers, and their parents, have also been consulted along the way.

“We frequently hear that many doctors, and other clinicians, don’t feel confident in what to do or say when they come across trans or gender diverse children or adolescents for the first time. With a guide to help them through all the stages of their care, our patients’ feel that they are likely to get better care and that others will also have a more positive experience when approaching doctors or psychologists,” she adds.

 

Trans services expanded at SHINE SA

SHINE SA, March 2017

SHINE SA has expanded its services for trans and gender diverse people, with the Trans Wellbeing service. This service provides non-urgent counselling, peer support and case management for people who are trans, gender diverse and gender questioning, their family members, partners and supports.

Trans Wellbeing is based at 57 Hyde Street in the city, and offers professional and peer support and information that is outside the mainstream health system.

Trans Wellbeing recruits from the South Australian transgender community wherever possible and includes volunteers and paid staff with a lived experience (trans women, trans men, people who identify as non-binary, partners and parents).

The service sees people from the age of 12 years and up, with a peer support service for trans/gender diverse people aged 18 years and up. Those aged 12 – 17 years receive a service tailored to their age.

Services provided through Trans Wellbeing are:

  • peer telephone support and information
  • peer support and case management
  • peer support program (18 years and up)
  • clinical psychology

Find more information on each of these here or by phoning (08) 7099 5300

 

SA Practitioners List for Trans* Health

Trans* Health South Australia, Updated 6th February 2017

The SA Practitioners List: A Community Directory for Sex and Gender Diverse Persons in South Australia has been updated.

The list was compiled by gender diverse community members last year, and is continually undergoing development to attempt to better reflect community needs. It features GPs, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, counselling psychologists, clinical psychologists, sexual health physicians, gynaecologists, surgeons, and allied health practitioners.

The list is based on feedback from members of the community and/or practitioners directly.

Trans Health SA is a peer run site to support the gender diverse community, professionals, allies and those interested in where to access various resources in South Australia.

  • Access updated list here 
  • See Trans* Health South Australia website here 

Psychologist who had affair with transgender patient struck off for 5 years

NSW Caselaw, February 2016

A psychologist in NSW has been banned by from registration or providing any health services for five years. The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission brought complaints of unprofessional conduct and professional misconduct against Seth Talmadge. The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) found that the patient (who had transitioned from female to male some years ago, and de-transitioned under Mr Talmadge’s guidance, after they commenced a sexual relationship) was “very vulnerable”. It also found that Talmadge had failed to maintain professional boundaries and to refer the patient appropriately and to seek supervision and to keep records.

Read the NCAT judgement here