The NHS’s gender identity clinic for children has launched an internal review following allegations that children and young adults are being “fast-tracked” though the service.
A senior member of staff at the trust has submitted a report which says the clinic is failing to examine children properly.
In a letter to the board of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, parents of children with gender dysphoria raised similar concerns that the trust is rushing patients into treatments such as hormone therapy and irreversible sex-change surgery without a proper assessment.
The parents’ letter highlighted the huge increase in demand at GIDS, where referrals have increased from 97 in 2009-10 to more than 2,500 in 2017-18.
The letter said: “Given the pressure under which GIDS now works, we believe there is a real danger that the cohort of young people who enter GIDS post-16 may be fast-tracked on to adult services in an attempt to reduce caseloads”.
It said this was concerning as patients using the adult services are given less assessment than they would receive as children.
Tavistock denied the allegations, and accused its dissenting member of senior staff of having “a negative attitude to gender dysphoria and gender identity which does not reflect the views or the approach of the trust”.
Tavistock’s Medical Director Dr Dinesh Sinha has been tasked with conducting a review in response to the negative report.
Pro-trans pressure group Mermaids responded to the news by saying that transitions don’t happen quickly enough.
They said that any delay “can have a negative effect on the wellbeing of a trans child”.