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The opening of new regional gender identity clinics in England has been delayed as the “complex” set-up of the new service continues.
After an initial aim for clinics to be up and running by spring, this was changed to autumn earlier this year and has now been pushed to April 2024.
The regional clinics will replace the current London-based Gender Identity Development Service (Gids) clinic, which is slated for closure by the end of March next year.
The NHS Children’s and Young People’s Gender Service for London … is working towards full mobilisation of the new service by the beginning of April 2024. The set-up of this completely new service is complex
Southern hub spokesperson
An independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, was commissioned in September 2020 amid the rise in demand, long waiting times for assessments and “significant external scrutiny” around the approach and capacity of the capital’s clinic and it was announced in July 2022 that it would be shutting down.
NHS England previously stated the new regional services must be ready to take on patients before the Gids service at the Tavistock and Portman Trust is closed, in order to ensure there is no gap in the provision of care.
The new service will be made up of the southern hub – a partnership between Great Ormond Street Hospital, Evelina London Children’s Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and the northern hub – a partnership between Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
A spokesperson for the southern hub said they hoped to be fully open by the start of April and that they are working with colleagues on the safe handover of current patients.
They added that progress on areas such as recruitment and training would determine how quickly new patients on the waiting list can be seen.
(We) expect providers to start seeing patients as soon as possible, with full-service mobilisation by April at the latest
NHS England spokesperson
They said: “The NHS Children’s and Young People’s Gender Service for London – a partnership between Evelina London Children’s Hospital (part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust), Great Ormond Street Hospital and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust – is working towards full mobilisation of the new service by the beginning of April 2024.
“The set-up of this completely new service is complex. In advance of full mobilisation, we will be working with colleagues on the safe handover of current patients.
“We are also focused on recruitment, training and ensuring good data collection which supports the developing research, and progress made in these areas will determine how quickly it will be possible to start seeing new patients off the waiting list.”
An NHS spokesperson said: “NHS England has fully supported providers to establish new services for children and young people that implement a fundamentally different model of care based on advice from the independent Cass review, and expect providers to start seeing patients as soon as possible, with full-service mobilisation by April at the latest.”