Primary Care Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy Initiation Guidelines


We're proud to have contributed to new, national guidelines for GPs and primary care teams. These guidelines will help primary care teams around the country get started initiating hormone therapy in primary care under an informed consent model.

Our Healthcare Lead, Jennifer Shields, worked alongside GPs, endocrinologists, mental health practitioners, and other community members to develop these new best-practice and accessible guidelines.

Informed consent is increasingly being recognised internationally as the best-practice approach to prescribing gender-affirming hormone therapy, particularly for adults. In Waitaha, the informed consent model depathologises gender-affirming care, moving this care from specialists and hospitals back into the community - and significantly reducing wait times.

Primary care is the ideal place for meeting most of the healthcare needs of transgender people, including hormone initiation, as primary care teams are part of patients’ local communities, and are experts in whole life experience, including normal life events which may require their input. GPs and NPs take a holistic approach which considers a patient’s physical health, mental health, culture, social supports, environment and lifestyle factors, which is well suited to providing gender affirming healthcare.

The guidelines contain lots of background information about trans and non-binary people as well as a step-by-step guide for hormone initiation in primary care, as well as useful FAQs for clinicians working with gender diverse folk.

In Waitaha Canterbury, everyone over 20 can access gender-affirming hormone therapy through informed consent, removing the need for a readiness assessment or an appointment with an endocrinologist.

The guidelines are free and available for everyone to read here.