Governor of child gender service quits over damning report

Feb 24, 2019 by

by Jamie Doward, Guardian:

Decision expected to intensify scrutiny of service accused of ‘fast-tracking’ young people.

The trust running the country’s only NHS gender identity service for children is under fire for dismissing a damning internal report that branded it “not fit for purpose”.

Marcus Evans, one of the governors of The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust has resigned, after accusing its management of having an “overvalued belief in” the expertise of its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) “which is used to dismiss challenge and examination”.

Evans’s decision to part company with the London-based trust, after a 35-year association, will intensify scrutiny of the service which has found itself in the eye of a storm as thousands of young people considering transitioning to another gender seek its help.

Some parents who contacted the Observer have accused the service of “fast-tracking” young people into changing gender, a charge strongly rejected by the service.

Conversely, it has also faced complaints of lengthy waiting times for access to its services and drawn-out assessment periods which the service insists are crucial to understand a person’s needs.

The service has been struggling to contain the fallout from an internal report by Dr David Bell, written in his capacity as then staff governor, which warned that “the GIDS service as it now functions [is] not fit for purpose and children’s ends are being met in a woeful, inadequate manner and some will live on with the damaging consequences”.

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