Social care for trans people – Treated with dignity & respect

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2014 National LGBT Conference
1 August 2014

Conference notes the report produced by NatCen research for UNISON into the effect of austerity on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people highlighting how equality is being side-lined and many specialist services are being diminished for LGBT people. We also note with caution the savage cuts to our health and social care services by this coalition government in the name of austerity.

Indeed UNISON’s own ethical care charter calls on local authorities to commit to over-riding objectives of safety, quality, dignity of care and many councils have already signed up.

However recent examples in the media of shocking and degrading abuse of elderly residents in social care have escalated this issue to a national level and for some older transgender members this is a particular concern.

Conference notes the ‘GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) UNISON nursing care for trans people –a brief guide’ and the positive effect that has had for trans people accessing NHS services, many of whom have not, cannot or do not want genital surgery; regardless everyone deserve dignity and respect. There are positive examples of best practise and good service provision in care services and they should be made example of for all LGBT people.

Provision of healthcare for trans people is protected by law however dignity and respect can often be overlooked in the search for greater profits in private social care provision. Dignity and respect is something that everyone deserves when they get older and this is often an ever greater concern for trans people. There are however many positive examples of social care services up and down the country that provide safe, dignified and respectful provision and we therefore call on the national LGBT committee to:

1. Work with regions and branches to identify fully trans inclusive social care policies;

2. Identify where such provision and services are clearly failing our members and campaign for properly funded care services;

3. Continue to campaign for a change of government at the next general election, in May 2015, one committed to tackling inequality arising from austerity policies.