HL Deb 18 December 2001 vol 630 cc38-9WA
Lord Carlile of Berriew

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What financial provision can be made available for gender reassignment surgery in cases where such surgery has been advised by the specialist gender identity clinic at the Imperial College of Medicine but has been refused funding by the patient's home health authority. [HL1982]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

There are a number of specialist centres for treating people with gender dysphoria in England, including the Charing Cross Hospital. Like all other services, decisions about whether gender reassignment surgery should be funded under the National Health Service are made by individual health authorities, who must take account of the wider picture in terms of local priorities and circumstances when determining how resources are spent. There should be no "blanket ban" on the provision of any service, and each case must be decided on its own merits. The health authority in which a person is resident is responsible for commissioning services for that individual.

In the future, commissioning of these services will move to primary care trusts (PCT), and the responsible PCT will be the one with which the person is registered. A number of PCTs may work together to purchase specialised services, such as treatment for gender dysphoria, PCTs will also take account of resources and local priorities when deciding which services to commission.