Does Tavistock GIDS fast-track 16+ referrals of adolescents with gender dysphoria?

Aug 4, 2019 by

from Transgender Trend:

In November 2018 the Observer reported the claim that the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service was ‘fast-tracking young adults’. In response the Tavistock said:

‘We do not limit or curtail assessments because of pressure to move swiftly to medical interventions. With complex cases, rather than truncating assessments, we will often extend the time given to trying understand what may be going on.’

In a private email that has been shared with us, Paul Jenkins, CEO of the Tavistock, wrote to some concerned parents and explained that the Leeds branch of GIDS did offer a pathway for older adolescents but denied that this could be described as ‘fast-tracking’:

In Leeds referrals of older adolescents are carefully screened; some attend a one-off group session. Others who are not considered suitable– usually on the basis of the complexity of their presentation – are not offered this. This approach offers young people who have been on our waiting list a chance to think with us about their options from a balanced GIDS perspective: it is not fast-tracking. (Email 2/10/2018)

This reply left us with more questions that it answered. What does ‘carefully screened’ mean in practice?  Can a desire to be the other sex ever be straightforward? We got in touch with a clinician who had worked at the Leeds clinic. Their view is that: ‘The service did not have agreed criteria for how to rate the complexity of a case (despite the intake form requiring clinicians to pick a severity rating).’

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