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NHS asked to prioritize its funding

National Health Service (NHS) which initially funded the sex-swap surgery of a former sailor is now funding the laser treatment to remove the tattoos. // Tanya Bainbridge, 57, from Middleton, says she needs the £2,500 laser treatment because her tattoos are not ladylike and she can't wear sleevless dresses in the summer.

Middleton and Heywood Primary Care Trust have approved the funding and Tanya is waiting for a date for surgery at Charing Cross Hospital in London, where she underwent her £20,000 sex-change operation on the NHS in 2001. Her travel expenses are also covered by the health boss. The decision to pay for tattoo removal has angered campaigners who were forced to fight for funding to receive the potentially life-saving breast cancer wonder drug Herceptin. They said that patients should be prioritized for NHS treatment according to need.

Amanda said that funding for life-saving treatment should take precedent over funding for cosmetic treatment. Tanya, who is currently unemployed and had fathered nine children as Brian Bainbridge before becoming a woman, says the surgery is essential for her well-being on psychological grounds. She had large naval designs tattooed on her forearms during a 12-year span in the Merchant Navy. Tanya lives with her partner of five years Mark Sutton, 48, in Hollins, Middleton. He told that she had a letter confirming the funding and is waiting for a date.


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