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NHS Child Sex Change Clinic Chief Resigns After Damning Report

People take part in a demonstration for the legalisation of gay marriage and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) parenting, in Paris on January 27, 2013, two days before a parliamentary debate on the government’s controversial marriage equality bill, which will allow gay couples the same rights as their straight …
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VIRGINIA HALE

A governor of the NHS trust in charge of England’s flagship child sex change clinic has resigned in protest amidst allegations it was “fast-tracking” young people into gender reassignment as a result of pressure from “highly politicised” LGBT campaigners.

Breaking off a 35-year-long association with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, Marcus Evans quit after it dismissed an internal report branding its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) “not fit for purpose”.

“Adolescence and childhood is a time when people are developing socially and biologically — a time when young people are identifying with different groups, and with male and female aspects of themselves,” Mr Evans told the BBC’s Today programme Monday.

“There is pressure from the child who is in a distressed state, there is pressure from the family and the peer group and from the pro-trans lobbies — and all of this puts pressure on the clinician who may want to help the individual to resolve their distressed state by going along with a quick solution.

“There is a lot at stake here as these decisions have far reaching consequences,” the consultant psychotherapist warned, speaking after he told the Sunday Times that GIDS was trying to “dismiss or undermine” concerns raised by its own medical staff in a leaked review compiled late last year.

Dr David Bell, who drew up the report, warned children were at risk of “long-term damage” as a result of the NHS clinic’s “inability to stand up to pressure” from transgender activist groups such as Mermaids UK, which has been criticised for false claims that delaying gender-bending medical treatments which have irreversible effects on young patients’ fertility causes gender-confused youths to commit suicide.

Staff governor at the time of compiling the report, Dr Bell said clinicians felt children were being put onto life-changing drugs without sufficient assessment of the role played by their personal histories and by wider psychosocial issues in patients’ gender dysphoria.

Noting that some youths view gender reassignment as a “solution” to “multiple problems such as historic child abuse in the family, bereavement… homophobia and a very significant incidence of autism spectrum disorder”, and the observation that children seemed to have been “coached” online and by activist groups, the report’s warnings also echoed worried voiced by other professionals who work with young people.

After a review into the respected consultant psychiatrist’s findings by Tavistock and Portman’s medical director, Dinesh Sinha, said the clinic was “safe and operating in line with the best care in this field internationally” the NHS trust issued a statement attacking claims in the leaked report as “unsubstantiated” and alleging Dr Bell had “no expertise in this field”.

This was despite Dr Sinha backing some of the concerns raised, with his review highlighting staff being forced to work in “an atmosphere of significant persecution” created by pro-trans campaign groups, and admitting clinicians’ fears that children had insufficient understanding of the effects of treatment on their fertility when placed on puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones.

In a letter to the Sunday Times noting “the extraordinary increase” in the number of child sex change referrals in Britain — a figure which has risen 2,500 percent in less than 10 years — a group of academics specialising in the field of gender slammed the trust’s attempt to “discredit” Dr Bell, asserting that “the health of thousands of children is at stake”.

With ministers expressing concern over reasons behind the huge rise in children presenting to the NHS with gender dysphoria, critics have questioned why public money continues to be awarded to controversial activist groups such as Mermaids. The group has been accused of using intimidation and blackmail to promote fertility-compromising “treatments” for underage children — and was even ordered not to contact a family after a judge ruled a woman, who was being advised by the group, had been abusing her seven-year-old son by forcing him to live as a girl.

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