Healthcare Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care for Trans People
Envisaging the Future
Keywords:Chaplaincy, gender transition, spiritual care, transgender
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.
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