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
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.
Self-referral: 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.
Where people are seen
Families from Yorkshire and the Humber, North East England, North West England and Scotland are usually offered appointments in Leeds. Families from Devon and Cornwall are usually offered appointments in Exeter. Families from the West Midlands and some parts of the Midlands are usually offered appointments in Birmingham. Families from most other places are offered appointments in London.
If the young person or family wishes to be seen at a different base (e.g. Leeds instead of London), this needs to be clearly stated in the referral.
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.
Our preferred route of referral is through a local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), who will have completed their own holistic assessment. However, we also accept referrals from other health, social care, and education professionals, including directly from GPs. We are unable to accept self-referrals from young people or their families.
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.
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.
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. We are currently redesigning our referral form to help referrers provide the information we need. 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.
Download the referral form:
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.