My project Modelling Transgender Spiritual Care, funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, ends this month. I have a paper in the new issue of Health and Social Care Chaplaincy in which I discuss some of the findings and argue that good spiritual care for people going through transition needs to include care from specialist healthcare chaplains as well as that offered by healthcare providers themselves.
Spiritual care has the potential to mitigate against "gaps" left when waiting lists (and times) for NHS gender identity clinics (GICs) spiral, and trans people awaiting medical interventions are at increased risk of suicide and self-harm. Healthcare chaplaincy has an explicit role to play, particularly for the sizeable number of trans people with religious faith or who struggle with finding support from faith communities. Spiritual care should be integrated within direct care provided by healthcare professionals, with additional care from specialist chaplains where desirable. Findings from the Modelling Transgender Spiritual Care project point to a need for additional training and resourcing in gender identity care for spiritual carers; a new prioritization of healthcare chaplaincy for gender identity services, which has implications for budgets and commissioning; and increased accountability for fulfilling the statutory requirement for spiritual care in the NHS.
“Healthcare Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care for Trans People: Envisaging the Future”, Health and Social Care Chaplaincy 7.1 (2019), 8-27, DOI: 10.1558/hscc.37227