The Times Investigation: Raising Concerns About GIDS

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The Concerns

On 8th April 2020, The Times ran a series of articles about worries over the treatment of children at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust Gender Identity Development Service. As well as concerns about inadequate assessment, whistleblowing staff were also concerned that struggles with sexuality we being misattributed to being transgender.

The NHS specialists warned that vulnerable children and teenagers had been sent down the path towards transition before experts had time to assess the causes of their gender confusion.

Lucy Bannerman, The Times

The staff who left the service also described feeling under pressure to refer young people for medical treatments, despite reservations that this was not in their best interests.

The clinicians also spoke out about the vulnerability of the children and young people they were assessing. Many of them had multiple other mental health issues, had experienced abuse or had a history of trauma.

One clinician felt that there were too many children who had emerging sexuality issues, stating “It feels like conversion therapy for gay children.”

Professor Carl Heneghan of Oxford University was pointed in his criticism of treatments for child and adolescent gender dysphoria, calling the use of puberty blocking drugs “an unregulated live experiment on children”.

The mess we have gotten ourselves into with the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents highlights all that is concerning with the present use and evaluation of powerful medicines in this age group.

Professor Carl Heneghan in The Times

The Articles

Read the full articles by clicking on the links below

Calls to end transgender ‘experiment on children’

Doubts over evidence for using drugs on the young

It feels like conversion therapy for gay children, say clinicians

Families ‘exploited by gender lobby groups pushing for treatment’