NHS-endorsed trans guidance criticised as ‘irresponsible’

Transgender guidance endorsed by three NHS trusts has come under fire for “scare-mongering” and offering ‘irresponsible’ advice.

The ‘Supporting Trans People’ toolkit promotes the use of puberty blockers for young children, despite the current review into their safety, and claims that anatomy is “not always a good guide” to biological sex.

Three NHS trusts have endorsed the toolkit: North Bristol NHS Trust, Devon Partnership NHS Trust and the Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.


Professor Kathleen Stock, lecturer of Philosophy at the University of Sussex, said the advice is “not responsible or well-evidenced”.

She said “there is ample evidence” that a “‘watchful waiting’ strategy” for young people experiencing gender confusion would be a better approach, although the toolkit claims that “doing nothing or delaying treatment CAUSES HARM”.

The document states that “anatomy is not always a good guide to what gender a child will be, or even what sex they are”.

The toolkit also claims that not putting transgender people on a hospital ward of the sex with which they identify “is likely to have a catastrophic effect on their emotional wellbeing”.


Professor Stock said the claims were “shockingly hyperbolic and unevidenced” with “potentially adverse effects for patient welfare”.

The creators of the guidance said it was “still in the development phase and not yet published”.

One NHS trust agreed to “look again at the toolkit” following the results of the review into puberty blockers.


Earlier this month, a 13-year-old girl launched a legal challenge against Oxfordshire County Council over its controversial guidance for schools concerning transgender pupils.

The ‘Trans Inclusion Toolkit for Schools 2019’ said boys who claim to be girls should be allowed to share female toilets, changing rooms and overnight accommodation on school trips.

The teenager, known as Miss A, said: “The guidance makes me feel that my desire for privacy, dignity, safety, and respect is wrong”.

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