The Tavistock transgender clinic is to be shut down by the NHS after a review found it is “not safe” for children. The Telegraph has more.
NHS England will move young people who believe that they are trans into regional centres which will take a more “holistic” approach to treatment and look at other mental health or medical issues they may have.
The decision is a response to the interim Cass Review, which warned that medics in the Tavistock had felt “under pressure to adopt an unquestioning affirmative approach” to gender identity rather than going through the normal process of clinic assessment with young people.
Dr. Hilary Cass, the consultant paediatrician who is leading the independent review, found earlier this year that the clinic as the only provider of gender identity services for young people in England was “not a safe or viable long-term option”.
Announcing their response to Dr. Cass’s recommendations, NHS England said that “given the urgent requirement to stabilise current service provision” they will establish two “Early Adopter services” run by specialist children’s hospitals.
The centres, one in London and one in the North West, will take responsibility for all of the Tavistock clinic’s patients and waiting lists with the aim to shut down the clinic by next spring.
NHS England have also committed to follow Dr. Cass’s recommendation that they carry out “rapid” research on the use of puberty blockers by young people after it was noted there is currently “insufficient evidence” on their impact.
The Cass review was commissioned by NHS England in 2020 amid concerns that there was “scarce and inconclusive evidence to support clinical decision making” which saw children as young as 10 given puberty blockers.
There were concerns over a sharp rise in referrals to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) run by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust – over 5,000 in 2021/2 compared to 250 a decade earlier and long waiting lists.
About time. But sadly this isn’t the end of medicalising children’s gender confusion with irreversible intervention. The NHS says it now hopes eventually to run around eight regional centres, making it not unlike the mythical Hydra, where the lopping off of one head only causes eight to grow in its place.