News

Media enquiries

Topics related to gender identity - and issues that are relevant to many trans people's lives - have thankfully been receiving greater attention in the UK in recent years. This includes increasing interest in our service and what we do.

We welcome media enquiries about our work. Please contact our Trust’s dedicated press office who will be happy to help.

COVID-19 update: How we are working and how to contact us

We know that this is a really challenging and difficult time for young people attending GIDS or on the waiting list, as well as for your families. Although we have had to change the way we deliver our service, we are still working and will do our very best to support you and respond to any worries you may have.

On this page you will find information about how to contact us.

 

For existing service users

For the time being we have suspended all face-to-face appointments. This is in line with Government advice to restrict travel and social distancing. Our staff are working hard to set up systems so that we can offer families psychosocial support over the phone.

If you already have an appointment booked, your clinician will, if possible, contact you by phone at that time.

Whilst we will endeavour to continue to maintain some contact over the phone or by video link it is likely that some staff may be diverted to support the COVID-19 crisis.  We nonetheless will do our best to provide support to you at this very difficult time in creative and thoughtful ways to help you manage uncertainty and cope with this challenging situation. Please see below for some ideas and links to on-line resources that you may find helpful.

At the moment if you would like to contact us please use email – this will be the quickest way that we can get back to you. Please send us an email to gids@tavi-port.nhs.uk with your name, phone number, email address and GP details and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

For young people on the waiting list, or for general enquiries

At the moment if you would like to contact us please use email – this will be the quickest way that we can get back to you. Please send us an email to gids@tavi-port.nhs.uk with your name, phone number, email address and GP details and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

For young people attending the endocrine clinics

Message from the London and Leeds endocrinology teams about appointments

Both UCLH (University College London Hospitals) and the LGI (Leeds General Infirmary) are acute hospitals at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis and staff and resources are being diverted to support this.

We hope you will understand that for the time being face-to-face clinics will be cancelled. The endocrinology teams will do their best to offer telephone clinics, but this may be subject to staff availability. For the time being the endocrine clinics won’t be sending any new/first appointments until the situation becomes clearer. If you are waiting for a first appointment and have concerns or worries, please contact your GIDS Tavistock clinician via the GIDS enquiries email, gids@tavi-port.nhs.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

For young person already attending the endocrinology clinic if you have any worries or concerns about your treatment please email the UCLH team on uclh.adolescentgidservice@nhs.net or the call the Leeds team on 0113 3922375.

 

Creative ways to stay busy in the home: some ideas for parents

  • Try and have some structure in the day, with time to talk to friends, take some exercise as well as keep up with homework.

  • Think of something new and different that could be done each day e.g. tidying rooms, helping with any chores, garden work or DIY, starting any creative projects together, researching new topics on the internet, arts and crafts, board games, cooking. If children or young people are off from school they are likely to be given home packs so parents might help children and young people to structure their time around this.

  • Regular meal times and bedtime routines might be even more important in times of uncertainty than they are normally.

 

Useful places for mental health support for parents and young people

GIDS update – judicial review to proceed

A judge has this week decided that the proposed judicial review of the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) approach may proceed to a hearing. We welcome the opportunity this provides to talk about the service and to stand up for our dedicated staff who put the best interests of the young people and families at the heart of their practice.

GIDS provides a thoughtful and measured service for children, young people and their families who come to us in considerable distress. Our clinicians have no preconceptions about outcomes for the young people who are referred to our service, all of whom are provided with psycho-social support throughout their time with us. While physical intervention is only accessed by a minority of our patients, it is important that this option remains available and is informed by the latest evidence.

It is very clear from our first-hand experience of working with these young people and their families that, for some, doing nothing is not a neutral act. We also believe in the rights of young people, with support from their families and clinicians, to make informed decisions about their care, in the way they would do in any other aspect of their health.

We welcome the opportunity to make the case for the quality of care the service provides in a thorough and nuanced way. Our work in GIDS is provided in accordance with best practice and relevant national and international specifications and guidelines.

We are disturbed by the level of misinformation in relation to the support provided to these young people. The often-toxic debate around the topic has caused considerable distress to patients and families. We hope the hearing will serve to set the record straight and put centre-stage the voice and interests of young people living with gender dysphoria.

We recognise that supporting young people who experience distress around their gender identity is an area of clinical practice that warrants regular review by relevant experts. As such, we welcome the scheduled review by NHS England of their specification, to which we work, and the opportunity to think with others about how to continually improve on the care we provide. It is vital that any interventions we offer are based on the latest evidence and sanctioned at the highest levels by those most knowledgeable, both experts in their clinical and medical specialities and experts by experience.

We have been very touched by, and would like to thank, the patients and families who have contacted us to offer support for the work that we do.

GIDS update – February 2020

The Trust is proud of its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), which for 30 years has been providing support to children and young people experiencing difficulties around their gender identity development. We are now facing an application for judicial review into the use of puberty blocking drugs and cross sex hormones for under-18s. On Monday 3 February, we submitted our response, or ‘summary grounds of resistance’, to this application in the High Court. The next step in the process is for a judge to decide whether there are arguable grounds to initiate a judicial review.

Young people experiencing difficulties around gender identity development require a thoughtful service, which offers them the space, tools and time to explore their feelings, and explores with them the options for further support or treatment, including, where appropriate, the possibility of access to pubertal suppression. In the last few weeks we have heard from many who have experienced our service and said that access to physical interventions was a vital part of their journey. We are grateful for your contributions and heartened to hear how well you are doing. We would like to express deep thanks to everyone who has reached out to us, to offer support for the young people we see in GIDS and for the service.

Of course, we recognise that supporting young people who experience distress around their gender identity is an area of clinical practice that warrants regular review by relevant experts. As such, we welcome NHS England’s scheduled review of the specification to which we work, and the opportunity to think with others as to how to continually improve on the care we provide. It is vital that any interventions we offer are based on the latest evidence and sanctioned at the highest levels by those most knowledgeable, both experts in their clinical and medical specialities and experts by experience. You can read more about the scheduled review on the NHS England website.