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Sandyford Gender Identity Clinic

Amended 06/11/09

Although set up to help people who are transsexual to progress through the steps of transitioning. The Gender Clinic at Sandyford is available to anyone who has difficulty in coming to terms with their gender identity or expression of their gender. 

The clinic will accept referrals through your general practioner and other doctors, but you can self refer by contacting the clinic secretary directly on 0141 211 8137. The clinic will see you, no matter where you stay in Scotland. 

At your first appointment, you will have the opportunity to explore your feelings and describe your problem/s to one of the doctors in the clinic. Following this, the doctor may arrange to see you again, perhaps refer you to the clinic's counsellor, who is experienced in transgender matters, or ask one of the other clinic doctors to see you. If the service does not meet your needs, the clinic will attempt to identify one that does and refer you on.

Following your initial assessment, you will be asked to meet with another member of the team. If not seen by a psychiatrist initially, you will be seen by one on your second appointment.  If both these doctors agree, you will be accepted into the clinic. After this, you will be invited to attend the drop-in clinic held on the 1st Tuesday of each month, plus any further scheduled appointments. The clinic adopts a team approach and if you are accepted into the service, you can expect to see most, if not all, the members of the team at some point.

The clinic functions according to the minimum ‘Standards of Care’ produced by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health. These can be viewed at

During your transition you will be expected to live the Real Life Experience (RLE). This requires you to adopt the appropriate appearance and behaviours of your chosen gender and requires you to change your name and official documents to match your chosen gender. You may be asked to bring evidence of these changes to the clinic e.g. driver’s license, passport, letters from employers etc.

If you are Male to Female (MTF), while transitioning, you may be offered speech and language therapy to assist in achieving a more feminine voice.

Although it is a neccessity, Electrolysis/Laser hair removal is currently unavailable if you live in the Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board area. It is however, under review.

For MTF's  feminising hormones are prescribed.  They will only be prescribed after three months of a RLE has been completed. However, In exceptional circumstances you may be prescribed them prior to transition. If you are overweight, you may be asked to lose weight prior to commencement. 

If you are Female to Male (FTM), masculinising hormones are prescribed. These have irreversible actions and can only be prescribed after 1 year of a RLE. Prior to prescription, you will need a second opinion from a mental health professional, which are offered at the clinic.

During this time, whether you are are MTF or FTM, you may need to see a consultant endocrinologist, if you have complicated hormonal requirements.

After you have completed at least 1 year of your RLE, Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS) can be offered. Prior to this, a second opinion from a mental health professional is required.

All GCS is performed in England and the following surgeons hold clinics at Sandyford 3-4 monthly:
For MTF's - Mr Phil Thomas
For FTM's - Mr David Ralph or Mr Nim Christopher

Should you wish referral to a different surgeon this would be subject to your local health authority agreeing to fund it.

For trans-men breast reduction surgery can be arranged depending on funding from your local health authority.

Breast Enhancement Surgery for trans-women is currently under discussion.

For MTF's, facial feminisation and tracheal shave operations can be offered locally through Mr Koppel based at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

After your surgery, you will be offered an appointment to attend the clinic 6 months later. You will be encouraged to attend the drop-in clinic should any problems arise.

If you are
under the age of 19 years, there is a specific service. This is provided by a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. A full assessment will be carried out in which, your family will be invited to participate in discussions, if you give your consent. You will also have the opportunity to discuss issues on an individual basis. In some circumstances, if you are under 13 years, you may be referred for an Endocrinological opinion at Yorkhill hospital. You may be referred to your local Child and Adolescent mental health team for further assessment/interventions.

There are a number of groups around Scotland, where you will find peer support from people who have had similar experiences to you.  The one

affiliated to the Gender Clinic at Sandyford, is the Sandyford Trans-women Support Group. 
For further information about this group, contact Colin Mackillop, the Community Access Co-ordinator at Sandyford

Below are other MTF support groups around Scotland.
Crosslynx (Glasgow)

Edinburgh Trans-women's Group

Stirling TG Group (formally known as the West Lothian TV/TS Group)

Swans of Scotland (Inverness)

North East Support Trans (Aberdeen)

For FTM's there is:
Trans-men Scotland
This group provides peer support for all Female-to Male Trans-men, (FTM) and for anyone labelled Female at birth who is exploring their Gender Identity. The group has members across Scotland and hold meetings in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

For information re meetings phone: 07948 735 179