RCGP responds to proposals to change gender recognition certificate rules

College Chair Kamila Hawthorne features in The Times responding to proposals by the Labour Party to shift responsibility for signing gender recognition certificates to GPs.

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “We do, of course, support improving the care patients with gender dysphoria receive, including tackling the long waits they face for treatment and services - and we understand how important formal recognition of a change of gender will be to them. But we have concerns about shifting sole responsibility for signing gender recognition certificates to GPs. We would need to see Labour’s proposals in full before we can comment properly, but for most GPs, detailed management of gender dysphoria is outside of our area of expertise, so whilst in some cases completing these forms might be straightforward, for more complex cases, without specialist involvement, the clinical and medico-legal risk placed on GPs would be high, especially if we were the only clinician involved. Something certainly needs to be done to alleviate pressures on clinicians working in specialist gender clinics, so that patients can access the care and services they need in a timely way, but the answer mustn’t be to pass this on to GPs who are also already working under considerable pressure.”

Further information

RCGP press office: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editors

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.