Clinic offers a safe space to receive sexual health services, advice, and support
BY LUCY KNIGHT. IMAGE THE GENDER SPECTRUM COLLECTION
A trans-inclusive sexual health clinic will open at the end of the month in King’s College Hospital, south London offering sexual health services, advice and support.
The Camberwell clinic is the second service to open in London in partnership with cliniQ, a non-profit organisation that aims to cater to trans and non-binary people’s sexual health needs.
The walk-in clinic will run every Tuesday from 4-7pm. Staff will include a counsellor, a support worker, a nurse, a doctor and an acupuncturist.
King’s is also developing a range of training materials for healthcare professionals to raise awareness in relation to trans health.
Dr Michael Brady, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV at King’s College Hospital and National Advisor for LGBT Health at NHS England announced the new opening on Transgender Day of Visibilty (31 March 2019).
“Although the focus of our service will be on sexual health, we recognise that trans and non-binary people are disproportionally affected by health inequalities and a range of potential physical, psychological and social problems,” explains Brady.
“As such we will adopt a holistic approach combining health and wellbeing services to help improve mental health, self-esteem and reducing isolation.”
Michelle Ross, cliniQ Co-founder and Director of Holistic Wellbeing Services added:
“I am excited and immensely proud to announce that cliniQ will be delivering and developing the very first sexual health and holistic wellbeing services in South London for trans, non-binary and gender diverse people.
“cliniQ’s focus is on improving the provision of health and wellbeing services in the UK for trans people and enhancing their dignity in accessing services.”
The new service is funded by the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham and the Health Innovation Network.
T, a 25-year-old non-binary person who works for the NHS, is very excited about the new opening.
They visited London’s other cliniQ service in Dean Street, Soho, and said it is “amazing.”
“I went there for my cervical smear which I literally had been dreading for a year. They were so kind and gentle with me and completely aware of my dysphoria the entire time.
“Because I was raped when I was 18, they took it really slowly and offered me so many options for how it could be done in a less uncomfortable way.
“They asked how I wanted myself and my body to be referred to. They asked if I needed legal advice or any other sexual violence support services which they could offer me. They did a full STI screen there and then, and also referred me to a psychosexual counsellor.
“The welcome staff are all trans and the waiting room is a safe trans space. It felt unique in that way.
“I cried on the way home because the whole thing was overwhelmingly wonderful.
“Working in the NHS myself, I rarely see such excellently coordinated services, but this gave me hope in a world and health care service designed for cis people, that trans folks can have a space too.”
Want to find out more? Visit cliniq.org.uk
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