The ever-growing waiting times for adult trans healthcare have effectively privatised medicine for trans adults: good luck waiting 25 years or more for a first appointment if you can’t afford a private GP and a life of private prescriptions; shared care, where a private GP prescribes your medicine and your local GP oversees it, is largely banned (so for example it’s been stopped in my bit of Scotland). And now the NHS in England is turning its attention to teenagers. Its new policies are unethical, unscientific and unsafe, and have effectively banned best practice healthcare for trans teens.
Healthcare will be withheld – a clear human rights violation – if patients don’t agree to be part of research studies – another human rights violation; patients have the right not to be forced into such studies – and private clinicians who provide the care the NHS denies may be investigated by regulators with the threat of withdrawing their licence to practice medicine. The proposed protocols enshrine dangerous and discredited conversion therapy as a preferred course of action instead of providing evidenced and effective treatment we know to be life-enhancing and in some cases life-saving.
What we’re seeing here is healthcare decisions made not by clinicians but by columnists; not by medical experts but by propagandists.
So where did these protocols come from? Who created them? We don’t know and they aren’t telling us. It seems ridiculous that they would ignore WPATH Standards of Care V8, especially when you consider the rigorous work done to ensure that it is based on extensive literature review and contributions, and scrutiny from over 4,000 clinicians worldwide who specialise in transgender healthcare. But with a government hellbent on damaging trans people as a way to distract from their failings, I don’t think it is difficult to work out that NHSE has become a politically manipulated service. And trans people are the ones who are suffering because of it… [the NHS] doesn’t want to improve trans healthcare for children. They want to stop it.
These new protocols aren’t medical. They’re political.