Over 1,000 families are expected to bring legal action against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which operated the only gender clinic for children in England before being ordered to shut down over safety concerns.
The Tavistock Centre and its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), which has been accused of offering puberty blocking drugs to children after as little as just one consultation, is now facing legal action from families over allegedly misdiagnosing their children.
Since opening in 1989, the Tavistock Centre “treated” some 19,000 children for alleged gender dysphoria, a condition in which an individual feels a disconnect between their biological sex and their gender identity.
Speaking to The Times, Tom Goodhead of the Pogust Goodhead law firm saidthat he is expecting “at least 1,000” families to join in the legal action against the NHS trust.
“Children and young adolescents were rushed into treatment without the appropriate therapy and involvement of the right clinicians, meaning that they were misdiagnosed and started on a treatment pathway that was not right for them,” he said.
“These children have suffered life-changing and, in some cases, irreversible effects of the treatment they received.”
In 2021, Keira Bell sued the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, alleging that the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) had pressured her into medically transitioning her gender at the age of 16, something which she later grew to regret as an adult.
While the High Court had initially ruled in her favour, finding that it was wrong for the clinic to prescribe puberty blockers without the authorisation of a court, the decision was later overturned by the Court of Appeal.
In May, the Supreme Court ruled that she will not be able to challenge the decision, clearing the way for more children to be prescribed with life-altering drugs.
Bell says that as a result of her “treatment” she was left with “no breasts, a deep voice, body hair, a beard, affected sexual function and who knows what else.”
Whistleblowers from the trust had also claimed that the Tavistock Centre had used dubious pretexts to put children on gender-swapping drugs, including if girls did not display a fondness for “pink ribbons and dollies“.
Another whistleblower, nurse Susan Evans, claimed that there were political motivations behind the prevalence of the use of puberty blocking drugs, saying last year: “The treatment pathway of children with gender dysphoria [was] becoming ever more politicised, and moving away from high standards of clinical mental healthcare with good assessment and psychotherapeutic treatment.”
Indeed, it has been estimated that over the past decade, the number of girls being diagnosed with gender dysphoria at the clinic had increased by 5,000 per cent.
In June, NHS England ordered that the Tavistock Centre close after an independent review from Dr Hillary Cass found that the treatments offered were “not a safe or viable long-term option” for children.
Nevertheless, the centre will remain open until next Spring, and it is set to be replaced by smaller local alternatives, meaning that the practice may still continue.
Responding to the potential lawsuit, a spokesman for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust told Sky News that the Gender Identity Development Service “is committed to patient safety.”
“It works with every young person on a case-by-case basis, with no expectation of what might be the right pathway for them, and only the minority of young people who are seen in our service access any physical treatments while with us… it would be inappropriate to comment on any current or potential legal proceeding.”
Reporting by Breitbart News.