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FOI release

FOI – 2023-000202 Gender Surgeries (HTML)

Published on 07 July 2023

Date received – 09 June 2023 | Date responded – 07 July 2023


Please provide data held for the past ten financial years for referrals for the following transgender surgical procedures.

  1. Female to male genital surgery

  2. Male to female genital surgery

  3. Specialist chest reconstructive surgery to create the appearance of a male chest

Please also break down the data for each year and type of surgery into age ranges, ie. under 18, 18-25, 26-40, over 40 years old.

Please also include the number of referrals denied or cancelled for each year and type of surgery.


Under section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act, 2002 (FOISA) an organisation does not have to provide that information if it does not hold that information. NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) does not hold some of the information at that level of detail.

Please find attached Appendix 1 – Gender reassignment surgeries applications approved. This will provide you with the breakdown of Gender reassignment surgeries (GRS) by age range and how many were cancelled or denied from the financial year 2015/2016 to current date. Please consider the following caveats when reviewing the information:

  • The information provided is the number of funding applications approved by NSS National Services Division (NSD). We do not hold information on the individual patient pathways.

  • For the Financial year 2014/2015, this is unable to be broken down by age group due to the way it was recorded at that time. The surgery type was also not recorded for this financial year however, what we have provided you with is the total number or approved funding requests for each surgery type based on the location of the provider and what surgeries they undertook at this time to get the most accurate data possible.

  • Whilst those under the age of 18 can be referred to surgical providers for consultation with a view to surgery, this surgery is not undertaken until the individual has had their 18th birthday*.

  • ‘Pending’ referrals is where NSD is awaiting further information from the NHS Board/Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) in order to conclude funding decision.

  • We have not included revision referrals in this data.

  • Where the referrals are fewer than 5, the data has been withheld in line with Caldicott Principles.

I trust you will find the information of assistance and if you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how we have dealt with your request you can make representations to us asking us to review the handling of your request.

If you require any further information please contact Associate Director Information Security & Governance, within 40 working days of the date of this correspondence.




NHS National Services Scotland Headquarters Gyle Square 1 South Gyle Crescent Edinburgh EH12 9EB

If after a review you are still unhappy, you also have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at Kinburn Castle, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS, or via their application form.

National Services Scotland (NSS) is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. You can view all FOI responses within our FOI Publications repository.