Every child treated for gender dysphoria in the last decade will have their medical records scrutinised to see if NHS care is causing more harm than good.
Sajid Javid will today start to change the law to allow researchers to study data on around 9,000 adolescents given counselling or drugs for the condition.
The Health Secretary wants to know whether the treatment improves trans children’s lives or leads to further problems or regret.
Currently, the data is protected by medical confidentiality laws that mean people are given a new NHS number when they legally change their gender.
Mr Javid has expressed concern that some vulnerable youngsters are being wrongly prescribed powerful puberty blockers. Insiders claim he thinks the current system is ‘failing children’ and has likened the uneasiness to speak out to officials’ fear of investigating Asian grooming gangs.
It follows several lawsuits against NHS gender clinics by patients who feel they were not challenged more by medics when they changed genders.
Clinics in London, Leeds and Bristol, run by the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust, are England’s only specialist services for trans children.
It has been accused of being too willing to prescribe life-altering treatments and drugs that can permanently warp patients’ hormones.
Number of trans people receiving NHS treatment rises 75% in five years
The number of adults in the UK being treated for gender dysphoria on the NHS has risen 75 per cent in five years, MailOnline can reveal.
Latest figures for 2021 show more than 11,000 patients received care for the condition that causes sufferers to feel they were born the wrong gender.
This is 74 per cent more compared to the 6,371 patients being treated in 2016.
A gender dysphoria diagnosis is the first step to getting prescribed cross-sex hormone therapies that help trans people develop the characteristics of their preferred gender.
MailOnline complied the data on gender dysphoria based on Freedom of Information (FOI) requests sent to 12 NHS gender clinics in the UK.
Of these, 11 provided data on their patient numbers stretching back to 2016, or to when they first opened.
Only four of the services were able to provide the number of patients prescribed oestrogen as part of their treatment, meaning the total is likely higher.
Overall there were 11,085 gender dysphoria patients being treated in 2021/22, compared to 6,371 in 2016/17.
Of the 2021 patients 1,592 were prescribed oestrogen.
Legislation to change the Gender Recognition Act 2004 will be introduced today and is expected to take a month to become law.
It will allow the records of everyone who had therapy between 2009 and 2020 to be studied as part of a larger review of NHS gender dysphoria treatment.
The review is being led by paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass.
It will also look at the reasons behind an increase in referrals in recent years and why the increase has disproportionately been among girls.