NHS gender clinic slammed for approving testosterone treatment and mastectomy for female patient with 14 mental health disorders

By Thomas Brooke
4 Min Read

A taxpayer-funded gender identity clinic in Britain has been heavily criticized for approving testosterone treatment and a double subcutaneous mastectomy on a female patient who had been diagnosed with 14 separate mental health disorders.

The Gender Identity Development Service (Gids), based at London’s Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, is due to close down next year after staff blew the whistle on how the service was being run and a Care Quality Commission inspection of the clinic ruled it “inadequate,” expressing significant concerns over “clinical practice, safeguarding procedures, and assessments of capacity and consent to treatment.”

Further details of individual case files are rarely available; however, a recent lawsuit against the clinic has exposed one example of the concerns over the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

It relates to a claim brought by a 22-year-old who argued that healthcare professionals at the clinic failed to comply with statutory duties towards transgender young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

During the judgment delivered on Aug. 11, it is stated that the claimant, who was born a female but now identifies as a male, has a total of 14 diagnosed mental health disorders “and continues to have complex needs.”

“His difficulties have been medically described as Mild Mental Retardation, Attachment Disorder, Emotion Dysregulation, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (“ODD”) and (Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”), dyslexia, severe anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) and low self-esteem,” the judgment by Mrs Justice Foster DBE read.

It further recounted the claimant’s troubled upbringing, explaining the claimant, who had been a patient at the clinic since the age of 14, is illiterate and was raised initially by his mother who was a recovering drug addict and was subjected to domestic violence from a young age.

The claimant lived in numerous locations across England during his childhood and attended eight separate primary schools before going into the care system at the age of 13. He has been known to mental health services since the age of 12.

The decision by the gender clinic to approve life-changing hormone therapy and surgery for an individual with such complex mental health disorders was criticized by Conservative peer Zac Goldsmith, who called for the “utterly barbaric” professionals involved to be “locked up.”

The case was also condemned by anti-trans British pressure group, Transgender Trend, and Gender Critical Autistics (GCA), a group for autistic adults and the parents of autistic children who have concerns about gender identity and transgender activism on the rights of other groups, which described the case as “shocking.”

The closure of the Tavistock clinic was delayed back in May until March next year when it will be remodeled and replaced by two regional hubs.

It continues to treat around 1,000 patients on its books, but no new first-patient appointments will be made until the new hub opens. It is understood that several thousand children are on waiting lists for gender-related treatment after an influx in referrals in recent years.

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