NHS Arden & GEM National Referral Support Service

GIDS is no longer accepting referrals onto our service.
Find information about the national referral system >>.

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Who do we see

The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) is a highly specialised clinic for young people presenting with difficulties with their gender identity. Our service was established in 1989.

We are commissioned by NHS England who set the service specifications for how we work.

Read the 2016 service specification.

Read the update to the specification from October 2021

Some people feel uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth whilst others are unhappy with the gender role that society requires. We help our clients to explore their feelings and choose the path that best suits their ideals.

We spend a lot of time engaging with clients to understand their thought processes and to help them manage any uncertainties they may have and be understood.

For adults presenting with difficulties with their gender identity, the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation Trust are the providers of the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC). Visit the GIC website

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Our approach

Acceptance

To promote non-judgmental acceptance of the range of gender identity presentations.

Holistic approach

To provide help for behavioural, emotional and/or relationship difficulties that young people or their families may be experiencing in relation to their gender identity.

Freedom of expression

To support young people and families to express themselves more freely.

Curiosity

To help people to remain curious and thoughtful about their lives, and to understand what might get in the way of them doing this

Mind/body

To keep in mind the relationship between the body, thoughts and feelings. We work closely together as a group of professionals from different backgrounds, including paediatric endocrinology

Loss

To allow young people and their families to acknowledge the sense of loss that can result from change.

Connections

To enable young people and families make meaningful connections between their life experiences and how they feel.

Independence

To support young people develop an appropriate level of autonomy and independence.

Support

To help young people and families tolerate uncertainty of how their gender identity might develop.

Hope

To sustain hope

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Glossary

Words can be extremely powerful and incredibly meaningful. They can both reflect and also shape our experiences. Preferred terms develop and change over time. Old terms may come to be seen as increasingly unhelpful or inaccurate and new ones take their place.

As a service, we recognise that importance that words and language can have in people’s lives. We try to use language in a way that fits well with the young people and families with whom we work. However, we also acknowledge that language can be controversial and contentious: something that might be hugely appreciated by one person, might be seen entirely negatively by someone else.

We also know that the way we talk about issues around gender is changing all the time. If you see anything on this site that you think is either incorrect or out of date, we’d love to hear from you.

See our overview of common terms about gender for some simple definitions.

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Who we are

Our staff have a range of professional backgrounds but we work together as a multi-disciplinary team to deliver the same service. Our team includes:

  • Clinical psychologists
  • Counselling psychologists
  • Systemic and family psychotherapists
  • Child and adolescent psychotherapists
  • Social workers
  • Child and adolescent psychiatrists
  • Paediatric endocrinologists (medical doctors for children and young people who are experts in the hormonal and physical changes associated with growing up)
  • Clinical nurse specialists (nurses with further training in endocrinology or a related area)

We also have a number of senior trainees in our team. These are people who are usually at the end of their professional training, or completing additional training.

Last, but by no means least, we have an incredibly dedicated team of administrative staff who ensure the smooth running of the service.

Your travel costs

We recognise that many young people and their families travel long distances to attend appointments with us and that this can be at considerable cost.

If you meet the qualifying criteria in terms of income or receipt of certain benefits, we are able to book train tickets for your travel to us. This applies to appointments at:

  • the Tavistock Centre in London
  • our Leeds base
  • our outreach clinics in other locations (e.g. in Exeter, Cardiff).

If your journey is entirely within London, you will need to claim back your travel costs on the day.

We are not able to book train tickets for endocrinology appointments at:

  • University College Hospital
  • Leeds General Infirmary.

In these cases, you will need to claim back for your fares on the day at the hospital.

Read more about the qualifying criteria and how to arrange travel

 

Feedback and complaints

We aim to work with young people and families in a collaborative way. Therefore we welcome and encourage feedback – both when things have gone well and also if there have been any problems or concerns.

We hope that you feel able to discuss any concerns or raise any questions you may have with your clinician(s). You are welcome to contact us to let us know if you have any concerns or questions so that we can try to resolve any issues speedily.

If you would like to discuss any concerns with someone independent of your clinician(s), please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) office on 020 8938 2523 or using the contact form on the main Tavistock and Portman website.

You can also leave positive feedback about the treatment you have received from us with the PALS office, as well as directly with us.

Alternatively, if you would like to make a formal complaint you can approach the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust with your concerns directly. For more information on how to make a formal complaint please visit the ‘Support and complaints’ page on the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust website.

Your care will not be impacted by any complaint you make, whether formal or informal, and all related documentation will be stored separately to your clinical record.

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