We welcome the broadening of this independent review of the Gender Identity Development Service’s important work. We call for transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse voices to be placed at the core of the report. If children and young people are to benefit from a better-provisioned service, the review must be based on clear evidence and lived experience. We also support the Care Quality Commission’s focused inspection of GIDS, due in the Autumn, and we trust it will further support the work of the service’s hard-working clinicians.
The wellbeing of our service users lies at the very heart of everything we do. Therefore, we are encouraged by this opportunity to improve care and support for this small population of young people by making it as easy to access as other NHS healthcare services.
We are aware that some young people are waiting as long as 28 months from referral for their first appointment at the only NHS gender identity service for England and Wales, when they should be waiting no longer than 18 weeks. This pressure often leads to great anxiety for children, young people and their families and we trust the evidenced and thorough review will acknowledge the urgent demand for increased and diversified provision, proportionate to need.
Our work with families and young people over the last 25 years has seen huge progress in the provision of services available to young people. Mermaids looks forward to seeing another step forward, with transgender, non-binary and gender diverse young people at the very heart of improvements made.