The 14-year-old transgender boy is taking legal action against the NHS for delays in sex reassignment treatment after waiting for more than a year to be referred to the clinic
- The teenager is supported in his struggle for action by The Good Law Project
- It is said that the NHS is "legally required" to provide professional assistance within 18 weeks
- According to the group, the average waiting time for a first appointment is 18 months
- NHS England insists that an independent review of the service is already under way
A transgender teen goes to court against NHS England for delays in sex reassignment treatment after waiting for a referral to the specialist clinic for more than a year.
The 14-year-old is supported in his struggle by The Good Law Project, according to which the NHS is "legally required" to provide professional care or an alternative within 18 weeks.
However, the average waiting time for a first appointment with the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in London's Tavistock Center is 18 months, some even up to four years.
This is not even to actually get what the NHS describes as fully reversible puberty blockers, just to begin the eligibility assessment process.
According to the BBC, around 10,000 other young people were referred to the already oversubscribed GIDS.
An independent review of the service has been launched, according to NHS England, insisting that legal action "is only costing taxpayers' money and not helping actions already underway".
The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) is based in the Tavistock Center in London
The service, operated by the Tavistock and Portland NHS Foundation Trust, provides assistance to those under the age of 18 who are struggling with their gender identity.
Reece, who came to see friends and family in elementary school, told the BBC that he did not want to ideally conduct such an action but felt that he had no choice because "no one else is standing up for trans youth".
He added: “I know more than 30 transsexuals from school and LGBT groups. Everyone has waited for months or even years, but no one has been able to get in yet.
"It's scary because it shows that the service is not available to the people who need it."
In a statement, he added: “Due to the length of the NHS waiting list, the treatments essential to my well-being are not available to me.
"If I'm at the top of the list, it will be too late, and in the meantime, I suffer every day from the fear and terror that gender dysphoria causes."
Gender dysphoria is when a person experiences a sense of discomfort due to a mismatch between their biological gender and gender identity.
The NHS announced in September that it would conduct an independent review of the GIDS.
Joylon Maugham is the founder of the Good Law Project, which supports the teenager in litigation
A spokesman for NHS England said it would include how and when young people are referred to specialized services.
Jolyon Maugham QC, Director of the Good Law Project, said, “Whatever your views on the right treatment regimen for young people with gender dysphoria, it cannot be right that they have long waiting lists – up to four years in some reports are faced with a first appointment.
"Children lose the opportunity to be seen in a window in which to ensure effective treatment and in practice they are denied access to that treatment."
The Good Law Project said the case was not about the treatment GIDS was supposed to provide, but about the "long delays" in accessing it.
The GIDS website states that young people have to wait “long” for their first appointment.
A spokesman for NHS England said: “Since 2013, the number of children and youth referred to the Tavistock Gender Identity Service has increased more than 500% as more people come forward for support and treatment.
"The NHS has Dr. Hilary Cass already asked to conduct an independent review, including how and when to refer children and adolescents to specialized services. Hence, legal action against the NHS will only cost taxpayers' money and will not support actions already under way. & # 39;
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