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.