Transgender woman Alexandra Greenway, 23, was found dead in her Bristol flat after leaving at lunch work and failing to return. The police suspect suicide, as she had attempted to do so a month before.
Her family is pointing a finger at the NHS saying if they had listened to her pleas for help she would be alive today. Her mother said she was especially upset in the days prior to her death. She told her that she was being ignored by healthcare providers who preferred to treat her for anything other than her gender dysphoria.
A month before she apparently took her own life, Alexandra Greenway was escorted to a psychiatric hospital for her own safety by police after what they believed was a suicide attempt, according to reports.
Officers tried to call their own mental health triage team, but nobody was on duty. They decided to detain her under section 136 of the Mental Health Act, but there was no bed for her in Bristol, and she had to be taken to a psychiatric hospital in Devizes, Wiltshire. She complained about hearing voices that ‘wouldn’t go away.”
Dr Toby Sutcliffe, the consultant psychiatrist who examined Greenway in Devizes, said he spoke to her for an hour. She seemed calm and did not mention hearing voices.
He said she told him that she hoped being taken to hospital would mean she would get help she had not received in the past.
Sutcliffe said she told him she wanted to access care and wanted to get better
The inquest, an NGO which provides legal services when the official cause of death is suspect, has been told that Greenway suffered a heart and respiratory failure, even though police treated her death as a suspected suicide.
Her mother Jacqueline Greenway said the professionals who spoke to her daughter seemed to focus on her stress at work rather than her experience as a transgender woman. “Alexandra had complex needs that were not fully explored. She felt constantly marginalized and fobbed off,” Jacqueline Greenway told the Guardian.
She said her daughter experienced “a long and difficult road in achieving gender reassignment surgery”. Because of the length of her wait for treatment, she felt forced to self-medicate with costly hormones she bought from abroad.
It’s estimated that there are currently over 10,000 Trans people in the UK on waiting lists for their first appointment at a Gender Identity Clinic. On top of that, what hasn’t been quantified is the number of Trans people who have not yet been added to a waiting list but will need the services of a Gender Identity Clinic.
The wait for the first evaluation can take anywhere from 3 to 10 years. And since the conservative government hijacking of the gender recognition reform which was meant to reduce and simply simplify applying for one’s authentic gender marker the hurdles have become too much for some, like Alexandra Greenway to handle.
Alexandra Greenway’s mother Inquest into her daughter’s death wrapped up on October 17.
However, the coroner did not grant the family’s request for a wider-ranging inquest (under Article 2) which could have examined the broader circumstances surrounding Alexandra’s death, including her access to gender-affirming treatment and the regard given to her higher risk of suicide as a transgender person. This also meant that the family were not able to access legal aid for representation, despite public services involved having publicly funded representation.