Wadham College SU has passed a motion to cover students’ travel to Gender Identity Clinics.
The SU, which is equavalent to a JCR, is now mandated to introduce a fund for these travel costs, to which £150 will be added every term.
The motion, which passed unanimously, states: “Transgender-related healthcare remains one of the most difficult forms of care to access: there are only eight Gender Identity Clinics (GICs) on the NHS, which cover the whole of the UK.”
GICs provide psychological counselling, speech and language therapy, and hormones, among other services.
The motion noted that waiting times for GICs can be extremely long, the shortest in the UK being at the Sheffield clinic, where the average waiting time is 51 weeks.
In Northamptonshire, the waiting times can range from two to three years.
Furthermore, the motion noted that these waiting lists are often subject to “absurd” rules that can impact a patients’ ranking on them.
The motion stated: “Patients are often not made aware of how their actions affect their place on the waiting list, and actions like seeing a private consultant can result in their being returned to the bottom.
“Because of the extreme length of waiting lists and the absurd bureaucracy involved, patients exercise very little control over the circumstances of their referral, including its date and location.
“[T]he current kafkaesque state of the UK’s trans-related healthcare is unsustainable, and we as an SU should support causes that seek to improve it.”
The students can now use the surplus either “inside or outside of term time.”
Because the fund is limited to £150, the allotment is on a sliding scale. If fewer than three people apply for the fund, each will receive up to £50. If between three and five people apply, each will get up to £30. If over five people apply, each will get up to £30 until the fund is depleted.
The motion also resolved to “donate £100 to the Oxford chapter of Action for Trans Health, in recognition of the work they do to provide trans patients with a voice in the healthcare system.”
Since the motion was passed, the SU trans officer is now mandated to “promote this fund, and to advertise it alongside the College’s own funds for unexpected hardship and travel.”
Wadham College is the first to introduce a fund of this kind. It was also the first college to have a trans officer, a position instituted in the 2016-17 academic year.
The two Wadham students who proposed the motion declined Cherwell’s requests for comment.