King’s College Hospital opened the first sexual health service in south London for trans people earlier this year
The service, which opened in April, runs every Tuesday from 4pm – 7pm at the Caldecot Centre.
Since its opening the new trans service at King’s has already had a positive impact on trans people’s lives, giving people easier access to an informed, respectful, dedicated local service in south London.
In partnership with cliniQ, the new service offers a range of health and wellbeing initiatives to meet the needs of trans people. Services include STI testing and treatment; contraception; counselling; cervical screening; hormone testing, hormone injection and advice; sexual assault support; hate crime support; housing advice; and the PrEP Impact Trial. The service also includes a counsellor; a support worker; a nurse; and a doctor. Although the focus of the service is sexual health, it has adopted a holistic approach and works with other relevant services such as primary care, mental health services and social services.
In addition to clinical and support services, King’s is also developing and delivering a range of training materials for healthcare professionals to raise awareness, knowledge and skills in relation to trans health.
Since it opened the clinic has seen over 50 people for a range of issues including sexual health testing; contraception; hormone level monitoring; hormone injections; advice and counselling. The feedback from patients so far has been really positive.
Evren Filgate, a 24-year-old service user, said: “cliniQ at King’s as a walk-in clinic accessible to all trans people provides dignified, non-judgemental care for myself and my friends. Without cliniQ I would not have been able to access life-saving care many times over. Many trans people I have spoken to agree that cliniQ is absolutely vital to trans people in south London and its importance cannot be overstated.”
Dr Killian Quinn, Clinical Lead for Sexual Health Services at King’s, said: “I’m really proud that King’s and cliniQ are delivering this service here in south London. The service has the expertise of both sexual health professionals and trans community leaders to address not only any medical and sexual health needs but also psychosocial health inequalities of trans people.”
Dr Michael Brady, Consultant Sexual Health and HIV at King’s and National Advisor for LGBT Health, NHS England, said: “Trans and non-binary people experience unacceptable health inequalities and poorer experience of healthcare in general. Services like this one delivered by cliniQ and King’s provide essential clinical care and support as well as training for healthcare professionals and the opportunity to raise awareness locally of trans health issues.”
Michelle Ross, 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.”
Dr Natasha Curran, Medical Director, Health Innovation Network, said: “This clinic is a first for South London and a fantastic example of genuine co-design in the NHS. The Health Innovation Network are delighted to have helped open this important service that offers an innovative, holistic approach to the specific needs of trans people. We aim to fund and support healthcare innovation that improves people’s lives and helps staff deliver the best possible care, the innovation grant we awarded the clinic, will help it do just that.”
Cllr Ed Davie, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, London Borough of Lambeth, said: “This new service is something we’re very proud to deliver alongside King’s and the Health Innovation Network. I’m certain that it will make a positive difference to the lives of trans people in Lambeth and across south London, providing a whole range of health support in a safe, comfortable environment. This will increase learning and awareness, both for health professionals in the issues that trans people and non-binary people face, and also for trans and non-binary people themselves around sexual health and wellbeing, helping us reduce inequality and ensure that everyone can access the support that is right for them. From our black mental health commission to leading the Do It London HIV campaign, Lambeth Council has a proud record of working with our minority communities to improve health and I’m very pleased this new trans clinic builds on this offer.”
Cllr Evelyn Akoto, Southwark Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Health, said: “I am hugely proud that the first dedicated health centre for trans, non-binary and gender diverse people has come to south London. Everyone has a right to access healthcare safely and with dignity, however trans people can face unique barriers to certain services. Anything that we can do to help people lead healthier and happier lives is a step in the right direction. I am sure that this will have a positive impact on the lives of many people who live in Southwark and South London.”
Mayor Damien Egan, London Borough of Lewisham, said: “I am delighted that cliniQ has officially launched today. In Lewisham we proudly support the trans community, including the principle of self-definition. As the first sexual health service in south London for trans people we know that clinicQ will make a real difference for Lewisham residents, by making sure they receive the advice and care they need. This is a vital service and I am delighted that Lewisham is supporting it. I hope that more clinics will open in the future so that we can continue to support trans people.”
The new service is funded by the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham and the Health Innovation Network (South London).