The controversial Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) operated by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has been rated as “inadequate” by government inspectors — another blow to the beleaguered service that has been struggling under the burden of a high resignation rate, public criticism and legal action.

The inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) criticised the service, based at a Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust site, for having over 4,600 children on its waiting list — some of them waiting more than two years for a first appointment. The Trust, which runs the UK’s only gender-identity development service for children, has been told it must significantly improve its service and waiting times as staff struggle to manage risks to patients. This is ironic given that the Tavistock and Portman trust mental health service has been criticised for providing a treatment that seriously damages children’s mental health.

Instead of addressing the issue arising from their perception that they might have been born into the wrong body — encouraged by the internet and uncritical TV programs on the subject — children are put on the pathway of cross-sex hormones and surgical interventions that are irreversible, rendering them sterile and often miserable.     

In reality the biggest risk these children face is getting the treatment they seek — cross-sex hormones and “cosmetic” surgery to align their bodies with their mental self image. It can be argued that making them wait is actually doing them a favour, sparing them from irreversible changes that may only make their mental health worse.

The “risk” referred to by the CQC is the same as that advertised by trans activists — the risk of committing suicide. But arguably this risk has been over-emphasised and certainly does not take into account the suicide risk to those who have sustained irreversible damage to their health, and have been surgically mutilated.

The main problem for those who receive the controversial treatment altering their gender at an early age is that they may change their minds and find it is too late to change their bodies back again.

Ninety-seven per cent of children receiving puberty-blocking drugs from the Tavistock’s Gender Identity Development Service subsequently go on to have cross-sex hormones as teenagers.

The fact is that those who undergo transition surgery risk impaired brain development, sterility, cancers and premature death. The risk that goes with the treatment provided at Tavistock can be seen in the suicide rate among those who receive transition treatment — 19 times higher among these youngsters than the suicide rate among their peers.

While suicide is by its nature irreversible, significantly, the benefits of suicide are routinely promoted for the disabled, sick and elderly. But when it comes to progressive preoccupations like the transgender issue, suddenly it goes from being the very best to the very worst thing that could happen. In fact, it can be argued that suicide has been “weaponised” to further the trans ideology by claiming that trans “treament” is medically necessary

Such claims have been removed from the NHS’s website — seemingly a sign that they were taking a more cautious approach. But the CQC report appears to contradict this supposition. Perhaps they should recall that the history of medicine is littered with tragic tales of “treatments” that very quickly became all the rage, especially in the case of mental illness, but were abandoned after causing irreparable damage.  

While the current cohort of “transgender children” are not mentally ill, they may be in future if this misguided therapy continues, as well as being irreparably damaged physically and facing the reality of being unable to have children of their own.

According to the CQC, waiting times should be speeded up, and yet the best thing that could happen to these children is to give them the time to grow up naturally. It is the best medicine, although it is completely free — unlike cross-sex hormones and surgery.

Ironically, just as Keira Bell and others are bringing a legal challenge against the Tavistock for rushing children through the transition mill, the CQC is urging them to hurry up the process.

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Ann Farmer lives in the UK. She is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (CUAP, 2008); The Language of Life: Christians Facing the Abortion Challenge (St...