“My GP was so fine with taking on my Testogel prescription that he did it without telling me!”
So, I’m in the UK, where waiting lists to be seen by the NHS gender identity clinics are horrifically long. As I had the financial means to do so, I got my gender dysphoria diagnosis privately, and then saw a Hormone Prescriber at the London Transgender Clinic for testosterone. The goal with these private services is then to have one’s NHS GP take over the prescription under a shared care agreement, because NHS prescriptions cost £9 each compared to £35+ each for private prescriptions.
Now, a lot of UK trans people have trouble with this, as most GPs aren’t very knowledgeable about it, or are reluctant to work with private doctors. It can be a fight to get it. I was expecting to be able to get the shared care agreement, but only after struggling through the bureaucracy of my GP’s office. My town of 35,000 people has only one organisation for all the NHS GPs, the result of all the individual offices joining together ten years ago after one of them got into financial trouble. It has become an enormous, sprawling organisation that relies heavily on automation and computers, and getting to talk to an actual human being when you need to can be challenging.
Having received my copy of the documentation from the private clinic, which they had also sent to my GP, I’d been told I’d need to talk to my GP about the shared care agreement, as they probably wouldn’t agree to it without talking to me first. In fact, the lady at the London Transgender Clinic mentioned that most GPs won’t even read it without being asked. So I phoned them today to organise that appointment…
After sitting on hold for a while, with the computer helpfully telling me my place in the queue, I got through to the receptionist, and I explained the situation. In order to decide where on the appointment triage waiting list I needed to go, she went and looked through all the information on my account, and promptly informed me that my Testogel prescription was sent to the pharmacy yesterday.
So, like… I didn’t have to ask them to do the shared care agreement. I didn’t have to argue with anyone. I didn’t have to deal with a doctor that doesn’t understand trans stuff. They just received the documentation from London Transgender Clinic, they actually read it without being asked, and they issued the prescription without telling me. Now I just need to go and pick it up in a couple days. I already started testosterone back in June with a private prescription, so now the NHS prescription just continues that.
Now I just get to continue being on testosterone, without any fuss. I just ask for the prescription each month (through the doctor’s website), they send it to the pharmacy along with my other prescriptions (though an online system), and I collect it. I don’t even have to pay any extra money, because my prescription prepayment certificate covers it all.