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Nurse bids to stop puberty blocking drugs on the NHS

A PSYCHIATRIC nurse is taking legal action to stop the NHS prescribing ‘experimental’ puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children undergoing transgender treatment.

Lawyers for Susan Evans will lodge papers at the High Court this week against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust in north London, which runs the UK’s only gender identity development service (Gids).

While working there, Ms Evans said she became increasingly concerned children were being given ‘experimental treatment’ without adequate assessments and has accused gender-diverse support groups of having undue influence. The case is also being brought on behalf of the mother of a 15-year-old autistic girl who is awaiting treatment.

Ms Evans (pictured), whose lawyers will argue children cannot give valid consent, told BBC Radio 4’s Today the Tavistock was willing to offer drugs to children as young as nine. Youngsters ‘are being asked to give informed consent to a completely experimental treatment for which the long-term consequences are not known’, she said. She added virtually all children who were started on the ‘experimental blocker’ received cross-sex hormones ‘which is going to lead to much deeper difficulties in physical terms, perhaps leading to infertility and interfering with sexual functioning’.

More than 30 per cent of children at the clinic are autistic, she said, and ‘many have suffered trauma’ while others are confused and socially anxious. She added: ‘I don’t believe a child of nine or ten can possibly understand, can possibly comprehend what their future adult life will be like and also then what they are consenting to possibly giving up, or the risks to their health.’

The Trust said: ‘The Gids is one of the longest-established services of its type in the world with an international reputation for being cautious and considered. Our clinical interventions are laid out in nationally-set service specifications. NHS England monitor our service very closely.’