LGBT Foundation’s response to NHS England’s plans for more children and young people’s gender identity services.
LGBT Foundation cautiously welcomes the announcement of two new regional centres that have the potential to provide an improved provisional service to the many children, young people and their families who have been failed by the existing poor-quality service.
Children and young people exploring their identity have needed urgent action for some time. However, this haste should not come at the expense of not involving people with the knowledge and experience to deliver a service that meets the needs of young people.
Those with lived and professional experience are essential in providing a healthcare service that can meet the needs of those who use it. We urge NHS England to involve LGBTQ+ organisations in developing these services, ensuring they remain inclusive and can meet a diverse range of needs.
We have seen considerable success from services that employ and seek support from trans and non-binary practitioners in providing a safe space, reducing stigma, and combatting confusion around using gender services, and we advocate for this as a way forward.
To safeguard the future of children and young people we ask for:
We know this is a worrying time for trans and non-binary young people and their loved ones, with the announced closure of the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) and the recent statements by Dr Hillary Cass. We are working with a coalition of our peers and inclusive organisations to provide the correct level of information to all people concerned. We are aware that the statement by NHS England on puberty blockers contradicts the details provided by Dr. Hilary Cass in her letter to them. We will continue to seek clarification around the role of puberty blockers and push for this information to be accessible and publicly available.
We are committed to supporting and uplifting trans and non-binary people, their friends and families, and all those who are questioning or who need to explore their identity in a safe and supportive space, whether they are trans or not. Everyone deserves to be able to use services that are safe, supportive, and inclusive, and we will continue to campaign for this.