tavistock center
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.

Worth reading in full.

And from The Herald, we learn:

The clinic has been overwhelmed by a sudden increase in referrals, particularly among young girls and children on the autism spectrum. Last year it received more than 5,000 referrals, compared with 250 a decade ago.

Ms Cass's final report will be published next year. Her interim review published in March found that services had developed without clear rules and that there was a "clinician lottery", with widely varying approaches to treatment.

She found there was "a lack of agreement, and in many instances a lack of open discussion" about whether unhappiness with gender in adolescence was permanent or temporary.

However, last year the Court of Appeal overturned a ruling made by the High Court that children under 16 were unlikely to be able to give informed consent to receiving puberty blockers.

The case was brought against the Tavistock and Portman trust by Keira Bell, 24, who began taking puberty blockers when she was 16 to transition to male before later "detransitioning".

A spokeswoman from the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: "Current waiting times for children and young people seeking support from gender identity services are entirely unacceptable. Any action to reduce waiting times and bring these vital services closer to where patients live are welcome.

"It is important to recognise that gender dysphoria is not a mental health disorder, though psychiatrists may be asked to be involved in a patient's care to help with co-occurring mental health problems. The College will continue to support psychiatrists in fully exploring their patient's gender identity, involving their families where appropriate, in a non-judgmental, supportive, and ethical manner.