Mental Health

03.02.20

Review of gender identity services for young people welcomed by RCPCH

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has responded to NHS England’s review of gender identity development services.

The review of services comes after NHS England put in place a new service specification for gender identity development services for children and young people in 2016. That specification stipulated a review in 2020.

Dr Michael Linney, a registrar at the RCPCH, said: “We very much welcome the review of services, which provide support for young people and their families, and also the setting up of an independent expert group to inform best practice in the use of puberty suppressants and cross-sex hormones.

“We’re particularly pleased that NICE will feed into the work of this group by conducting a thorough review of the latest clinical evidence in this fast-moving area.”

The 2020 review has enlisted the help of an independent group of experts headed by former RCPCH President Hillary Cass CBE.

Dr Cass said: “I look forward to chairing this independent group, bringing together medical and non-medical experts with a range of perspectives, to make evidence-based recommendations about the future use of these drugs.”

Last month, two claimants applied for permission to proceed to a judicial review against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, to halt access to puberty blockers on the NHS for those under 18.

The case focuses on the provision of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to people under the age of 18 who are considering transitioning sex.

Susan Evans, a former psychiatric nurse at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust who is bringing the case to court, claims she raised concerns about the trust when she worked there, but her concerns were ignored.

Patients, families, experts and interested parties will be invited to comment on a draft specification later in the year.

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