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Top doctor questions need for change at gender clinic

A doctor with a key role in reforming a controversial gender identity clinic for children has been recorded questioning the need for change.

Prof Gary Butler, clinical lead for the children's gender clinic in England and Wales, also appeared to accuse the author of a report, which will underpin the new service, of "nepotism".

He was recorded making the comments in a keynote speech at a major conference.

The Gender Identity Development Service (Gids), based at London's Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, was rated as "inadequate" by inspectors, who visited in late 2020. It was earmarked for closure in July 2022.

An independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, also called for a "fundamentally different" model of care for children with gender dysphoria.

Prof Butler has been awarded a key role in shaping the new service, as one of several people tasked with implementing a new training programme, underpinned by Dr Cass's recommendations.

However, BBC Newsnight has learned Prof Butler has publicly questioned the need for change and described Dr Cass's recommendations as "slightly unusual".

In the 14-minute speech at the conference, he talked about current services across the UK, the legal challenges to the situation in England, and how he felt Gids has been the subject of "lies" in the media.

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Source: BBC News, 24 May 2023


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