The United Kingdom’s publicly funded healthcare system will no longer allow the use of puberty blockers for children except for clinical trials.
“The NHS will only commission puberty-suppressing hormones as part of clinical research,” the National Health Service (NHS) said in a June 9 update about implementing advice from the Cass Review, an independent review of gender identity services for children and young people. The review had highlighted “significant uncertainties surrounding the use of hormone treatments,” NHS stated.
“We are now going out to targeted stakeholder testing on an interim clinical commissioning policy proposing that, outside of a research setting, puberty suppressing hormones should not be routinely commissioned for children and adolescents who have gender incongruence/dysphoria,” it said.
In a June 9 NHS document (pdf), the agency said that the most appropriate clinical pathway to deal with children said to be experiencing gender incongruence was through an “integrated multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach, fully involving the child or young person and their family.”
It stressed the need to explore “all developmentally and psychosocially appropriate options” when treating such children. The clinical approach should be “mindful that this may be a transient phase, particularly for pre-pubertal children.”