Who do we see?
Our service accepts referrals for children and young people with features of Gender Dysphoria as described in the “Gender identity development service for children and adolescent service specification”
We also support the family or carers of children and young people.
We are unable to accept self-referrals.
How to refer young people to GIDS
Please download and complete the referral form below and send it directly to GIDS via email@example.com.
General practitioners and other non-CAMHS/paediatric referrers:
Please download and complete both the referral form and the risk assessment form below. Send these directly to the referral management service via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you send your referral straight to the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, this will be returned back to you, for you to send to email@example.com.
We are not able to accept self-referrals in any circumstances. Please contact your GP or local CAMHS if you wish to be referred to our service.
Advice for referrers
Please carefully consider the appropriateness of a referral using the guidance below and on the form before making a referral.
We are currently experiencing a high demand for our service, and – as a result – long waiting times for a first appointment.
Referring professionals must discuss the referral with the family/ carer of the child/young person in order to provide detailed referral information and seek their agreement.
Not everyone who identifies with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth, or whose gender expression is different from what others might expect of them, will need to be seen by a specialist Gender Identity Development Service.
If you feel that the child or young person requires support, but may not need our specialist Gender Identity Development Service, you may find it helpful to initially direct them to resources on our website: https://gids.nhs.uk/young-people#finding-a-community
A child or young person is unlikely to be accepted into our specialist Gender Identity Development Service if they do not currently have a strong desire to be another gender or insist that they are another gender to the one they were assigned at birth. To meet our service threshold, they would have to feel this way and have done so for at least 6 months. For more information on this, please see our service specification.
Advice on completing the form
Our referral form requests details about different aspects of the child or young person's life. We aspire to get the best possible information from referrers, at the earliest opportunity, to help us rapidly establish the most helpful sources of support. Therefore, we ask that referrers provide all the information we request; doing so will also save referrers’ time by reducing the need for further information requests. The most common reasons for requesting further information are:
- Clarifying what the young person/family is seeking from GIDS
- Understanding detailed gender history: when incongruence was first noticed, how it has been responded to, any social transition (e.g. changes in pronouns, name, appearance), length of time living in role, etc.
- Ensuring appropriate family/carer/guardian consent
- Identifying which other services, and who from those services are also involved
- Clarifying family and developmental history
- Understanding who will be providing input with this young person and family while they wait to be seen by GIDS (e.g. care plan)
- Risk has been identified without a care plan
- Risk is unclear
To help us deal efficiently and effectively with referrals, we are unable to accept:
- Hand-written referrals
- Referrals made without use of our referral form
- Referrals for under 16s where parental consent is not present (please contact us for advice)
- Referrals where it has been indicated the young person is the only person to be contacted, but the contact provided is the parents/carers postal address.
- Self-referrals from young people or families
Referrers may find the referral form itself a useful resource, when considering how to approach your conversations with young people and children about their gender identity.
Risk and safety
Young people experiencing gender dysphoria are a vulnerable group and may experience a higher incidence of co-occurring mental health issues or self-harm. It is important to be aware that at present our waiting times are lengthy, and young people may require additional support with gender distress and other issues during the wait. We strongly recommend that plans are drawn up by the referrer and local professional network to ensure the needs of the young person are being met in the interim and clearly communicated to GIDS on the referral form. Please note that we will not be acting directly on the information until a person is seen for assessment and until that point clinical responsibility remains with the referrer and the local professional network. For useful information and resources for professionals, young people, parents and carers, please explore our website.
Referral form – old versions not accepted from 1 January 2022
GIDS has been using a new version of the referral form since August 2021. Please note that older versions of the form will no longer be accepted and processed after Friday 31 December 2021.
From Monday 1 January 2022, we will require the most recent version to be downloaded and completed from our website. Older versions will not be registered.
Download the referral form and risk assessment form
The new GIDS referral form is in XLSM format and must be completed on Microsoft Excel. Please save a local copy of the referral form before completing. Depending on the version of Microsoft Excel that you are using, you may need to click on ‘Enable Editing’ and ‘Enable Content’ before completing the form.
You can save this form and come back to it later to complete, if you need to gather further information.
Once complete the form will automatically generate a PDF that you can save locally, or it will automatically compose an email to the appropriate email address with the generated PDF as an attachment.
Please only send completed PDF files, and not the unfinished Excel file.
If you are a non-CAMHS referrer (for example a GP), please also complete the separate risk assessment form and send both to Arden and Gem at the above email address.
If you are a CAMHS/Paediatric service referrer, you will only need to complete the Excel form.
Frequently asked questions about our referral form
Why can’t I navigate from page to page, or select options?
You may not have enabled the file:
1) Open the file
2) Click “enable content” (often found towards top of screen in yellow banner)
3) Click “trust” this file (if asked)*
4) Save somewhere secure on your computer so that you can come back to it if you need to
*Depending on your version of Excel, you may also be asked to “Trust” the file. This is because - if it was sent from an unknown source - a stranger could have, in theory, built a virus into this type of file. So Microsoft have added messages to such macro-enabled documents as a safeguard. We assure you that the file can be Trusted.
I’m receiving the message: 'BLOCKED CONTENT: Macros in this document have been disabled'
In rare instances, your systems administrator may have chosen a setting which over-rides your ability to select macros. Depending how this has been set up, you may be able to resolve the issue by: 1) opening the file up in Excel again, choosing ‘Trust’ if prompted. 2) Finding the Excel file in Windows Explorer, right clicking on the file name and opening ‘Properties’. 3). Select the ‘Unblock’ box at the bottom click OK to save the setting. You should now be able to use the form, but if the message persists, this will require support from your systems administrator.
Why are there minimum requirements for information?
We are a Tier 4 National Gender Identity Development Service and we require high quality, detailed referral information to guide our decision-making around whether we are best placed to meet a young person’s needs.
Historically, the Gender Identity Development Service, has received a high volume of referrals with scant information. In over 40% of instances our clinicians have had to go back to our referrers to get further information to assess whether the young person’s needs are likely to be met by our tier 4 service, and whether risks exist which need to be addressed. Often, by this stage, the memory of the consultation has faded, making this task more difficult, increasing work for referrers and GIDS clinicians, and increasing the wait for an answer for young people and their families.
Our aim is therefore to gain all the information we need in the first instance. We appreciate that this means referrers may have to save their progress on the referral form and engage in further information gathering before the form can be completed and sent.
Can we send you the Excel version of the form?
The form is designed to generate a PDF referral form as the final step.
- If Outlook is your default email application, please choose the option “Email PDF Referral” which can be found at the bottom of the final ‘Support’ section. The correct email address will be automatically selected for you and a PDF version of the form will be automatically attached to the email.
- If you are using any other email application, please choose “Save PDF as local copy.” This will save the PDF in the same file location you saved the Excel file. The file name will be the NHS number. Please email this PDF to the appropriate address:
CAMHS/Paediatricians: address your referral form to: firstname.lastname@example.org
GP and other referrers: address your referral form to: email@example.com
Can we have a Microsoft Word version of the form to add as a standard form to our systems?
In designing this form, we have carefully considered and evaluated the upside of its built-in capability vs the downside of referrers not being able to automatically populate some basic information e.g. Patient name, address and NHS number. From this evaluation, we have concluded that the benefits to our patients from us having high quality information, outweighs any inconvenience caused. However, we do recognise and apologise for this inconvenience
Changes to the referral process
With the increasing numbers of referrals NHS England is establishing a regional professional support service which will bring together specialists from a range of different clinical backgrounds to help referring clinicians support the additional care needs of children and young people while they wait to be seen by GIDS. They will provide expert advice and support to referring clinicians to help them provide high quality information to GIDS and ensure the best care and support to meet patients’ full healthcare needs while they are waiting to be seen and should operational in Autumn 2021.
In the interim, an NHS referral management service is being set up to process referrals from primary care and non-NHS providers. This service will ensure that referrals are held according to date, recorded and checked to include all the necessary information required. As is currently the case, the clinical responsibility for patients will remain with referrers until they are seen by GIDS.
If your referral comes from England it will be funded via our national contract with NHS England and there is no need to seek local funding approval.
Northern Ireland and Scotland
However, our national contract also covers referrals from Scotland and Northern Ireland. As with referrals from England, no local funding approval is required.
Wales and other countries or territories
We are usually not able to make applications for funding ourselves. These requests normally have to come from the referring clinician. We strongly recommend that you apply for funding as soon as possible. This helps to avoid delays in the young person accessing our service.
If our contracts team let us know there is no funding in place, we will get in touch to let you know this.