Young trans people accessing treatment outside the NHS can get a protection referral | transgender

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Young transgender people could be referred to protective agencies if they access puberty blockers and hormone therapies on the private market after being told by a public health professional that they should not take them, suggest new draft guidelines from the National Health Service of England.

If NHS professionals decide a patient should not take puberty blockers or privately obtained hormone treatments, they can advise the patient’s primary care physician to initiate ‘backup protocols’, according to the draft guidelines. consulted by the Reuters news agency.

The draft does not specify why safeguard measures would be taken, nor what they would entail. According to NHS protocols, ‘safeguard teams’ are made up of professionals from the police, medical and social services responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of a child.

Other changes in the draft guidelines would include: allowing only NHS professionals to refer young people to gender care, providing teams with wider professional expertise within clinics and requiring meetings between referring staff and a clinic to determine if gender clinics are the best avenue of treatment.

Asked about confirming details of the guidelines, a spokesperson for NHS England said the organization could not comment on a draft. NHS England has previously said it will soon share its draft guidelines with the public to allow for comment and revisions, but declined to respond when the guidelines are released.

The draft prepared by NHS England says “there is now an urgent need” to finalize guidelines and help get new services in place for young transgender people “as soon as possible”. It was briefly uploaded to the NHS England website in late September, with plans for a 45-day public comment period, but was later deleted, Reuters reported.

The guidelines are part of a wider review of the treatment of young transgender people who seek NHS care. The current approach, which may include medical interventions, has been criticized by some practitioners who say it rushes people to medication, and by some families who argue that young people face years of waiting because the service cannot handle the request.

Wait times have led some young people to seek medication or treatment privately or through unregulated online pharmacies.

In a statement earlier this week, NHS England medical director Dr Stephen Powis said: ‘No one should buy illegal, unknown and life-threatening medicines online.

The NHS is closing its only gender identity clinic for children, the Gender Identity Development Service (Gids), at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust from spring 2023 after it was criticized in a interim report by Dr Hilary Cass, who is leading an independent review of gender identity services for children and young people.

In a statement in July, NHS England said it intended to create a “more resilient service” by expanding supply and would establish two services run by specialist children’s hospitals in London and the north west of England.

A spokesperson for Gendered Intelligence, a national transgender-run charity, said people using or hoping to use the service urgently needed more information about how it would be run.

“The last thing anyone wants to see is a repeat of the same problems currently facing Gids: a system with so many administrative hurdles and capacity issues that it has become unsustainable,” the doorman said. -word. “It is crucial that new services focus on accessibility and communication; on effectively facilitating access to treatment and support rather than leaving young people and their families in limbo.

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