Advice for accessing sexual health services as a trans man.
Across Scotland, gender identity clinics and sexual health services are often located in the same buildings, and share a common medical notes system called NaSH.
This is a sexual health specific system, separate from your GP notes to allow for some privacy around your sexual health consultations and results – and is why often you might be asked permission in a sexual health clinic to share results with your GP.
Because the gender and sexual health service use the same system, it means it’s possible for sexual health clinicians to see that you have attended a gender service and for gender service clinicians to see that you attended a sexual health service.
Clinicians sometimes consider it good practice to read a patient’s notes ahead of an appointment to get a background history about your medical needs. However, this can be inappropriate or intrusive if you would rather information about your sexual health remain separate to your gender clinic consultations.
If you would like your sexual health appointments to remain completely separate and private from the gender clinic, you can use a pseudonym, or ‘fake’ name.
If you choose to visit the sexual health clinic under a pseudonym, you should remember it and use the same pseudonym each time. That way, your care can be continued in the safest way, based on notes from your previous visits. Anyone accessing sexual health has the right to use a pseudonym.
In line with General Medical Council guidance, you are entitled to have a companion with you in appointments at sexual health services.
Sometimes clinicians may want to speak to you alone, as a safeguarding precaution, but you are within your rights to ask for a companion or partner to remain present for any part of a procedure or appointment you might find distressing and need support for.
A doctor may ask for a chaperone to be present. This is for your safety as well as theirs.