Home Youth service The NHS Tavistock Youth Gender Clinic will be replaced

The NHS Tavistock Youth Gender Clinic will be replaced

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Tavistock Centre. (Youtube)

NHS England is to close its only dedicated youth gender clinic and open new regional centers as part of a shift to a ‘holistic and localized approach’ to healthcare for young trans people.

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust will close its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) by next spring, NHS England said Thursday (July 28).

This follows a recommendation by Dr Hilary Cass that gender affirming care should be provided by regional centers “led by experienced providers of tertiary pediatric care to ensure a focus on the health and development of the child. , with strong links to mental health services”.

Dr Cass, who is leading a review of gender-affirming care commissioned by NHS England, noted that the current model is unable to meet growing demand, leading to spiraling waiting times.

NHS England said that “given the urgency of stabilizing current service delivery” it will set up two “early adoption services” run by specialist children’s hospitals.

Young trans people who are currently on GIDS service or on the waiting list will be moved to regional centers as the NHS takes a ‘holistic and place-based approach’.

At this time, there will be no immediate changes to the care offered by the clinic.

Early Adopter services will be open by 2023 with the aim of “achieving a smooth and seamless transfer for all patients, minimizing any disruption”, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust said in a statement. statement.

An Early Adopter service in London will be run jointly by Great Ormond Street Hospital and Evelina London Children’s Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust providing specialists [children and young people] mental health support.

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital will provide the service for young trans people in the North West of England.

As part of the reforms, NHS England said it would carry out further research into puberty blockers, drugs that act like a pause button on puberty. Treatment, according to extensive research, can “save the lives” of trans youth.

One study found that gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth was associated with a 60% lower risk of depression and a 73% lower risk of suicide.

But at Cass’s suggestion, NHS England will work with the National Institute for Health and Care Research to better research puberty blockers and put in place a new process for proscribing puberty blockers once the report is complete.

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust said it expects the reforms to reduce waiting lists once the doors to local hubs open.

The trust said in a statement: “The trust supports the need to establish a more sustainable model for the care of this group of patients given the marked growth in referrals. The expertise that resides within the current GIDS service will be essential to the successful formation of these early adoption services and the continuity of patient care.

“We will work closely with Partners and Commissioners to ensure a smooth transition to the new delivery model. Over the past two years, our GIDS staff have worked tirelessly and under intense scrutiny in a difficult climate.

“We are proud of them and grateful for their patient focus and extraordinary effort.”

The decision came in response to Cass’ interim review, which boldly suggested that trans youth should have more than one service nationwide.

Dr Hilary Cass OBE, former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, wrote in a letter to National Director of the NHS, John Stewart, emphasizing the “need to move from a single national supplier to a regional model”.

She says: “A comprehensive service and package of patient and family centered care is needed to ensure that children and young people who question their gender identity or experience gender dysphoria are on the right path for them as individual.

With waiting lists at Tavistock stretching back years, Cass called on the NHS to offer help to young trans people “as early as possible in their journey”. She suggested healthcare providers band together at “intake meetings” to help expedite care for those deemed “at risk.”

A separate report of the Care Quality Commission in 2020 found that there were over 4,600 young people on the GIDS waiting list, with some waiting over two years for their first appointment. As a result, inspectors called Tavistock “inadequate”.

While anti-trans activists have portrayed puberty blockers as readily available, not a single trans person under the age of 17 received an initial evaluation with an endocrinologist, who reviews and approves hormone therapies, between December 2020 and September 2021, a survey conducted by I found.