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Found 27 results
  1. News Article
    A group of transgender people have lost their legal case against NHS England over waiting times to get seen by a gender specialist. The two trans adults and two trans children had tried to get the wait times - more than four years in one of their cases - deemed illegal. But a High Court judge ruled on Monday the waiting times are lawful. The Good Law Project - which helped to bring the legal action - said it would seek permission to appeal. The four people brought the legal action against NHS England (NHSE) over the waiting time to get a first appointment with a gender dysphoria specialist. The claimants argued that NHS England was failing to meet a duty to ensure 92% of patients referred for non-urgent care start treatment within 18 weeks. They said the waiting times were discriminatory, arguing the delays faced by trans people were longer than for other types of NHS treatment. But the judge dismissed the claim on several grounds. Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 January 2023
  2. News Article
    NHS England has acted unlawfully by making thousands of patients with gender dysphoria wait “extreme” periods of time for treatment, the high court has heard. Transgender claimants, who have suffered distress as a result of delays, want the court to declare that NHSE broke the law by failing to meet a target for 92% of patients to commence treatment within 18 weeks. NHSE figures show there are 26,234 adults waiting for a first appointment with an adult gender dysphoria clinic, of whom 23,561 have been waiting more than 18 weeks. The number of children on the waiting list is approximately 7,600, of whom about 6,100 have been waiting more than 18 weeks. In a witness statement, one of the claimants, Eva Echo, said she received a referral in October 2017 but had still not been given a first appointment, leaving her in “painful indefinite limbo”. A co-claimant, Alexander Harvey, who has been waiting for a first appointment since 2019, said the delay “means that I have to continue to live in a body which I don’t feel is mine and which does not reflect who I am”. He said he had twice tried to kill himself. In written submissions for Tuesday’s hearing, David Lock KC, representing the claimants, said delays to puberty-blocking treatment – the current waiting time for children to access services is more than two years – could cause “intense anxiety and distress” to adolescents as a result of them experiencing “permanent and irreversible bodily changes”. While NHSE accepts it has not met the 92% target across the cohort of patients for whom its health services are commissioned, it claims a breach does not give rise to enforceable individual rights. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 29 November 2022
  3. News Article
    Sexual health charities and LGBT groups are calling for the government to step up efforts to control the monkeypox outbreak in the UK. In an open letter to Health Secretary Steven Barclay, they say that without a quicker and wider vaccine rollout, the virus could become "endemic". There have been more than 2,600 cases of monkeypox in the UK so far, mostly among men who have sex with men. The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) says it is working "rapidly" to vaccinate those at risk. The Terrence Higgins Trust, which co-wrote the letter, says the rollout needs to be speeded up across the UK to help combat "fear and anxiety" within the LGBT community. Trust head of policy Ceri Smith told BBC News: "We need to see far better co-ordination, increased vaccine procurement, improved delivery and a cash injection to sexual health services to treat monkeypox." The letter reads: "Without urgent action, we risk monkeypox becoming endemic in the UK. This poses a serious risk to health and will exacerbate the health inequalities already experienced by gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. "Vaccinating those most at risk of monkeypox must be a priority if we are to stand a chance of preventing the virus from becoming endemic in the UK." Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 August 2022
  4. Content Article
    Key points Research conducted by public bodies has shown that COVID-19 has had a greater impact, both directly and indirectly, on people who share certain protected characteristics (such as belonging to particular ethnicities or age categories, having a disability, or being women or from the LGBTQ+ community). Health and care services have a major role to play in both identifying the extent of these impacts as well as working together to reduce them. This report showcases examples of health and care systems across the country devising innovative approaches to mitigate the direct effects of COVID-19, through targeted vaccination campaigns, and support for people to recover from indirect impacts, through wellbeing and support programmes. These examples evidence that barriers came down during the pandemic to protect staff, patients and resources both within the NHS, and between NHS organisations and external partners in local government and the voluntary sector. They also show that tackling health inequality in an inclusive way is possible. The NHS and its partners must continue to gather data both on the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic on people with different protected characteristics, and on the effectiveness of different programmes in addressing these impacts. Building on the achievements of the past two years, we must fund voluntary and community sector partners and put processes in place to consolidate partnership working (both within the NHS and between NHS organisations and other stakeholders) to drive continued progress in reducing inequalities affecting people with protected characteristics.
  5. News Article
    The only NHS gender identity service for children in England and Wales is under unsustainable pressure as the demand for the service outstrips capacity, a review has found. The interim report of the Cass Review, commissioned by NHS England in 2020, recommends that a network of regional hubs be created to provide care and support to young people with gender incongruence or dysphoria, arguing their care is “everyone’s business”. Led by the paediatrician Hilary Cass, the interim report explains that the significant rise in referrals to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust in London has resulted in overwhelmed staff and waiting lists of up to two years that leave young people “at considerable risk” of distress and deteriorating mental health. Last spring, the Care Quality Commission demanded monthly updates on numbers on waiting lists and actions to reduce them in a highly critical report on GIDS. Differing views and lack of open discussion about the nature of gender incongruence in childhood and adolescence – and whether transition is always the best option – means that patients can experience a “clinician lottery”, says the new review, which carried out extensive interviews with professionals and those with lived experience. It notes that the clinical approach used by GIDS “has not been subjected to some of the usual control measures” typically applied with new treatments. Another significant issue raised with the review team was that of “diagnostic overshadowing”, whereby once a young person is identified as having gender-related distress, other complex needs – such as neurodiversity or a mental health problem that would normally be managed by local services – can be overlooked. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 March 2022
  6. News Article
    The death of a "vulnerable" transgender teenager who struggled to get help was preventable, a coroner has said. Daniel France, 17, was known to Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust (CPFT) when he took his own life on 3 April 2020. The coroner said his death showed a "dangerous gap" between services. When he died, Mr France was in the process of being transferred from children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Suffolk to adult services in Cambridgeshire. The First Response Service, which provides help for people experiencing a mental health crisis, also assessed Mr France but he had been considered not in need of urgent intervention, the coroner's report said. Cambridgeshire County Council had received two safeguarding referrals for Daniel, in October 2019 and January 2020, but had closed both. "It was accepted that the decision to close both referrals was incorrect", Mr Barlow said in his report. Mr Barlow wrote in his report, sent to both the council and CPFT: "My concern in this case is that a vulnerable young person can be known to the county council and [the] mental health trust and yet not receive the support they need pending substantive treatment." He highlighted Daniel was "repeatedly assessed as not meeting the criteria for urgent intervention" but that waiting lists for phycological therapy could mean more than a year between asking for help and being given it. "That gap between urgent and non-urgent services is potentially dangerous for a vulnerable young person, where there is a chronic risk of an impulsive act," Mr Barlow said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 25 February 2022
  7. News Article
    A retired consultant gastroenterologist has been struck off the UK medical register for “wide ranging failings” in treating young transgender patients and in prescribing testosterone for men. Michael Webberley, who was charged with failing to provide good care to 24 patients, acted outside the limits of his expertise, a medical practitioners tribunal concluded. Through the private online clinic GenderGP, which he ran with his wife Helen, a GP, Webberley prescribed puberty blockers to a child of nine and cross sex hormones to a teenager who died by suicide a few months later. He faced charges over his care of seven transgender patients, and the tribunal found that he had provided treatment that was not clinically indicated or that had been prescribed without adequate tests, assessments, or examinations. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 30 May 2022
  8. Content Article
    HSIB identified a patient safety incident involving an 18 year old transgender man. The Patient had been referred to CAMHS at 15 years old with concerns about his mental health and gender identity. At 16 years old, the Patient was referred to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS). At 17 and a half years old, the Patient was advised by the GIDS that he would not be seen within GIDS before he turned 18 years old. His referral was then transferred to the waiting list of an adult gender dysphoria clinic (GDC), where his previous waiting time with the GIDS was accounted for. However, the Patient was told that this would still incur a further 22 month wait before he could access specialist gender dysphoria services. The Patient continued to receive care from CAMHS beyond his 18th birthday while he waited to access the GDC, during which time expressed frustration at the waiting time to access specialist gender dysphoria services. The Patient sadly died by suspected suicide before his 19th birthday. The national investigation HSIB was notified of a patient safety incident relating to the waiting times and support available for patients accessing specialised gender dysphoria services. The notification was made by the Trust, which was concerned about its capacity and ability to care for patients waiting to access specialised services. At the time of the investigation there was a 24-month wait to access the GIDS, and longer waits to access adult GDCs. Safety recommendation HSIB recommends that NHS England and NHS Improvement incorporates the findings of this investigation into plans to further review and develop the service specifications for specialised gender dysphoria services. This should include further work with relevant stakeholders to: Identify the role of relevant voluntary and charitable sector organisations in supporting patients with gender identity concerns and facilitate information sharing between these organisations and regional professional support services. Identify work to improve the transfer of care, management, and proactive risk assessment of patients who are moving from the Gender Identity Development Service waiting list to a gender dysphoria clinic waiting list. Safety observations These safety observations are made in support of ongoing national work exploring the care of children and young people with gender dysphoria. It may be beneficial if professional bodies produced further advice and guidance to assist NHS staff who may need to provide care to patients with gender identity concerns while patients are waiting to access support from specialised gender dysphoria services. It may be beneficial if local healthcare commissioners had up-to-date and easily accessible resources to identify all relevant services within a locality that could provide support to patients with gender identity concerns. It may be beneficial if further work considered the ability to allow for shared record systems and ways to appropriately share information between NHS and non-NHS services involved in the care of patients with gender identity concerns. It may be beneficial if further work considered the availability and accessibility of specialist training to help in the care of children and young people who have gender identity concerns or gender dysphoria.
  9. Content Article
    Key points Children and young people with gender incongruence or dysphoria must receive the same standards of clinical care, assessment and treatment as every other child or young person accessing health services. The care of this group of children and young people is everyone’s business. Our initial work indicates that clinicians at all levels feel they have the transferable skills and commitment to support these children and young people, but there needs to be agreement and guidance about the appropriate clinical assessment process that should take place at primary, secondary and tertiary level, underpinned by better data and evidence. Addressing the challenges will require service transformation, with support offered at different levels of the health service. The Review’s research programme will not just build the evidence base in the UK but will also contribute to the global evidence base, meaning that young people, their families, carers and the clinicians supporting them can make more informed decisions about the right path for them. A fundamentally different service model is needed which is more in line with other paediatric provision, to provide timely and appropriate care for children and young people needing support around their gender identity. This must include support for any other clinical presentations that they may have. It is essential that these children and young people can access the same level of psychological and social support as any other child or young person in distress, from their first encounter with the NHS and at every level within the service. The Review team will work with NHS England, providers and the broader stakeholder community to further define the service model and workforce implications.
  10. Content Article
    Coroner's Matters of Concern The concern in this case is that a vulnerable young person can be known to the County Council and Mental Health Trust and yet not receive the support they need pending substantive treatment. Danny was repeatedly assessed as not meeting the criteria for urgent intervention and yet the waiting list for psychological therapy was likely to be over a year from point of first presentation. That gap between urgent and non-urgent services is potentially dangerous for a vulnerable young person, where there is a chronic risk of an impulsive act. Although I understand that there is a long term plan to extend young people’s services to age 25, but I remain concerned about the ongoing situation, and that a young person today could be faced with the same challenges in finding support pending substantive treatment. I believe this concern is the combined responsibility of Cambridgeshire County Council and CPFT. These organisations may wish to consult in preparing their response to this report. The inquest heard evidence about the considerable delay in obtaining appointments for the Gender Identity Clinic, and about the shortage of availability for psychological therapies such as CBT. These are matters for policy and funding. This report will therefore be copied to NHSE and The Secretary of State for Health for information purposes only.
  11. Content Article
    Over the last year, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the Runnymede Trust have sought to understand what we can learn from movements that have made change – as well as those who have fallen short – for our efforts to create change today. They did this by exploring what worked and didn’t work for four movements from recent decades. These were: LGBTQ+ rights race equality climate action health inequality. Findings: Insight 1: Evidence alone cannot change the world. Insight 2: Movements need a well-developed ecosystem of influence. Insight 3: Successful movements are rarely organic: they require active cultivation. Insight 4: Successful movements prepare for and then harness external events. Insight 5: Movements must mine their assets – and address their limitations.
  12. News Article
    Many dread being invited for their cervical smear test - but Laurie Hodierne found it exhausting to have to keep asking for appointments, and trying to chase up the result. He is one of a number of transgender men who still have a cervix but are no longer registered as female at their GP surgery. Laurie was re-registered as male without requesting it, he says. And this means he could miss out on potentially life-saving cervical smear tests because he is not automatically called up for screenings. As a doctor, Laurie worries others who might be less able to navigate the health system will simply give up trying to get their smear test. "I understand how the systems work and the language - and despite all of that I find it exhausting," he says. "You keep coming up against a brick wall. It's a healthcare inequality in the sense that you aren't able to get access to the screening programme in the same way." NHS patients registered as female are invited to a cervical-cancer screening every three years between the ages of 25 and 50, and then every five years until they are 65. But anyone who has a cervix can develop cervical cancer. The disease often has no symptoms in its early stages and can be fatal. Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 May 2021
  13. News Article
    A transgender boy is taking NHS England to court over delays in accessing gender identity treatment. The 14-year-old, who was referred to the UK’s only youth gender identity clinic in October 2019, has been told he may have to wait at least another year to be seen. He said he was experiencing “fear and terror” while he waits for treatment. Young people are currently facing “extensive waits” to see a therapist, with the average delay being 18 months or more, according to the Good Law Project, which is representing the boy. The not-for-profit organisation said the health service was legally required to ensure patients referred to gender identity development services (GIDS) are seen within 18 weeks. Gender clinics for adults across the country have reported similar delays, with the Devon Partnership NHS Trust reporting “lengthy waiting times” while the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust said patients were facing delays “in excess of 32 months” for an initial appointment and 62 months from referral to treatment. Trusts have blamed a surge in demand as well as reduced capacity, including staffing problems. The teenager involved in the case said in a statement: “The length of the NHS waiting list means the treatments which are essential for my well being are not available to me." “By the time I get to the top of the list it will be too late, and in the meantime I suffer the fear and terror that gender dysphoria causes, every day.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 23 November 2020
  14. Content Article
    Following a scoping roundtable and consultation with the Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network members, the NHS Confederation have developed a series of recommendations to help healthcare leaders, service designers and commissioners ensure their services and workplaces meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ population: Create visible leadership and confident staff. Create a strong knowledge base. Be non-heteronormative and non-cisnormative in everything you do. Take responsibility for collecting and reporting data. Listen to your service users. Proactively seek out partners to co-deliver services. Read them in more detail by downloading the attached info-poster.
  15. News Article
    The NHS has announced that Dr Hilary Cass OBE, former President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, will lead an independent review into gender identity services for children and young people. The review will be wide-ranging in scope looking into several aspects of gender identity services, with a focus on how care can be improved for children and young people including key aspects of care such as how and when they are referred to specialist services, and clinical decisions around how doctors and healthcare professionals support and care for patients with gender dysphoria. It will also set out workforce recommendations for specialist healthcare professionals and examine the recent rise in the number of children seeking treatment. Dr Cass will then make clear recommendations for children and young people’s gender identity services reporting back next year. The Gender Identity Development Service for Children and Adolescents is managed by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is due to carry out a focused inspection of The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, Gender Identity Services for children and young people, during the autumn. The inspection will cover parts of the safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led key questions and will include feedback from people using the service, parents, relatives, carers, and staff. Separately, Dr Cass will also review the service’s clinical practice with the support of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and engagement of other professional bodies to provide multi-professional insight working closely with the CQC. The review includes an examination of the issues surrounding children and young people who are prescribed puberty blocking and cross sex hormone drugs. Dr Hilary Cass OBE, independent chair, said: “It is absolutely right that children and young people, who may be dealing with a complexity of issues around their gender identity, get the best possible support and expertise throughout their care.” “This will be an inclusive process in which everyone will have the opportunity to make their views known. In particular I am looking forward to hearing from young people and their families to understand their experiences. “This review provides an opportunity to explore the most appropriate treatment and services required.” Read full story Source: NHS England, 22 September 2020
  16. News Article
    The coronavirus lockdown has provoked a mental health crisis among the LGBTQ community, with younger people confined with bigoted relatives the most depressed, researchers found. A study of LGBTQ people’s experience during the pandemic, by University College London (UCL) and Sussex University, found 69% of respondents suffered depressive symptoms, rising to about 90% of those who had experienced homophobia or transphobia. Almost 10% of people reported they felt unsafe in their homes. The study called for more government support for LGBTQ charities, which have experienced significant rises in demand since the start of the pandemic. It warned: “Poor LGBTQ+ mental health may remain unchecked without a substantial policy commitment and funding directed to ameliorating health inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 5 August 2020
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