Alice Litman’s family condemn ‘non-existent’ trans healthcare in the UK
The grieving family of Alice Litman, a 20-year-old transgender woman who took her own life after waiting almost three years for gender-affirming healthcare, have condemned the “non-existent” trans healthcare in the UK.
On 13 October, following an inquest into Litman’s death opening in September, coroner Sarah Clarke concluded that long waiting lists for gender-affirming care contributed to a decline in Alice’s mental health.
Her distraught parents, Caroline and Peter, and her sister, Kate, spoke to Good Morning Britain on Tuesday (24 October) about how the inaccessibility of trans healthcare contributed to Alice’s death.
Peter said: “It’s actually quite hard because it’s quite obfuscated really how bad the waiting lists are. What came out in the inquest is that if you’re referred today, you’d be waiting 20 years for your first appointment.”
NHS waiting times for trans healthcare have been a serious issue for the community for a long time, and have even been branded “unlawful” by some.
Kate explained the process of attending your first appointment and being able to access hormone care or surgery.
‘GPs are capable of handling hormone care’
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“What we say is [that] with a 20-year wait list, [the] service is functionally non-existent. GPs are more than capable of handling hormone care for trans people, so we want to see it provided at a primary-care level.”
She went on to describe the gender-affirming service as “gate kept”, adding: “Medically it’s not complicated” to prescribe hormones.
Litman’s parents previously spoke about the “torture” Alice faced while waiting for gender-affirming healthcare.
In an interview with Sky News, the couple said their daughter’s death should be a wake-up call. “Transgender people are hung out to dry,” they said.
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact the Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.
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