Speak to a trained member of the Mermaids team. 08088010400

The state of healthcare for trans youth

Mermaids is campaigning for better healthcare for trans youth. We’re calling for:

  • Timely, supportive and holistic healthcare access for all, with maximum wait times in line with the 18 week NHS Constitution.
  • NHS healthcare provided in line with international best practice, including prescription of puberty blockers and hormones for those who need them.
  • Decentralised access to care, including more trained GPs who provide informed consent options for hormones for patients over 16.

Find out what’s going on, and how you can get involved, below.

What’s going on?


Across all nations of the UK, the NHS is failing to deliver the care that trans children and young people need. There were virtually no first appointments offered in 2023, with ever-growing waiting lists of over five years. 

In England, the children and young people’s service, GIDS, is due to close in April 2024 and be replaced by two hubs operating under new guidelines which seek to limit the care available, including restricting prescribing of puberty blockers. In Scotland, Sandyford hasn’t offered a first appointment since September 2022. In Northern Ireland, their service (KOI) offered only three initial assessments in the year prior to August 2023.

The final report of the Cass Review, expected in 2024, will likely lead to further change, and have ramifications beyond NHS England.

The impact on young people


“The waiting lists are usually a huge part of my struggle as a trans person… transitioning seems impossible to do.” – R (he/him)

“I ended up going privately because of how long it was taking, which not everyone can afford.” – E (she/her)

“They have made it near impossible to get hormone blockers before you’re 16. Hormone blockers are meant to stop puberty, so what’s the point in taking them when you are near the end of it?” – R (he/him)


If you’re a young person or a parent and you’re struggling with the current healthcare situation in the UK, we’re here for you. Speak to a trained member of the Mermaids team today.

0808 801 0400

Monday to Friday, 9am – 9pm