Southern Region nurses with their gender affirming healthcare kete. Ara Poutama Aotearoa recently released a new Guideline for Gender Affirming Healthcare for Transgender and Non-Binary Adults and Young Adults who we work with.

“The guideline acknowledges the commitment our Health Services team has made to providing responsive, equitable and accessible gender affirming healthcare services for people of all genders,” says Chief Nurse and National Operations Director Health Ben Storey.

To support the implementation of the guidance, a gender affirming healthcare kete was gifted to each Health Centre. The kete included the guideline document, health assessment guide, gender affirming posters to create visual signs of safety and support, and a ‘5 minute kai and kōrero’ activity for our frontline health staff to start supportive conversations around gender affirming healthcare.

“The kete is a very informative and handy tool to have in our Health Centre. We have had several people identify as a different gender. Recently one transgender person asked about chest binders, which some staff were unfamiliar with, so we were able to use the guidelines and assessment guide to ensure we were providing appropriate care for the person,” says Registered Nurse Porcelina Spring.

The team at Christchurch Women’s Prison has championed this kaupapa by creating a ‘Gender Affirming Healthcare’ themed education board to welcome people of all genders to the Health Centre as a safe space to be yourself. People in prison and staff have commented on how they really like the positive and inclusive messages and information.