NHS gender clinics ‘not ready to open’ despite year-long delay | Politics | News


New clinics designed to replace a controversial NHS gender identity unit are “nowhere near ready” to open, a whistleblower has said.

New hubs in London’s Great Ormond Street and Liverpool’s Alder Hey are due to see patients this week. It comes after the Gender Identity Development Service (Gids) at the Tavistock and Portman Trust was closed.

However, a whistleblower told the i newspaper that the hub’s opening has been a shambles.

They said: “It’s been shoddy, disorganised…at times, it’s felt unsafe.”

The Tavistock Clinic was ordered to close following a review from Dr Hilary Cass. It was found to be “not a safe or viable long-term option”.

Around 250 patients, who were being treated at the Gids have been transferred to the new hubs this week. Some 5,000 children and young people are on the waiting list for referral to the new clinics in the north and south of England.

An initial aim had been for clinics to be up and running by spring 2023 but this was pushed back amid what NHS England described at the time as the “complex” set-up of the “completely new service”.

The whistleblower, however, told the i they were not “fully staffed,” claiming there were just 17 or 18 clinical staff across both clinics, most with no experience with transgender children

Some 5,000 children and young people are on the waiting list for referral to the new clinics in the north and south of England.

An NHS England spokesperson said: “In line with the Cass Review, NHS England took the decision to close the Tavistock and set up a fundamentally different and improved approach to children and young people’s gender services.

“This transition is a complex piece of work, but this is just the first step in establishing a new model which provides holistic support for children and young people and their families.

“Our focus is on ensuring continuity of care as we establish the new service, and all patients waiting will be offered a local mental health assessment, with extra national resource provided to ensure the best possible support.”



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