Update on the future of Gender identity services for young people

Last year, referrals to our Gender Identity Development Service stood at over 3,500. In addition, the referral support service set up by NHS England for GP referrals recorded over 1,500 referrals. This represents another doubling in demand for support with gender identity from children and young people. This level of need cannot and should not be met by a single highly specialist national service. It is crucial that gender-diverse children and young people can access care and support in a timely fashion within a joined-up system.


Announcement by NHS England

We therefore welcome NHS England’s announcement on 28 July that more capacity will be created for gender questioning young people, through a new regionalised model.

Informed by the work done by Dr Hilary Cass as part of her wide-ranging review of the whole system, this model will begin with two new ‘Early Adopter’ services, one in London and one in the North West. These first two services will start in Spring 2023, and more sites will follow across the country.

Once all the young people that we are currently supporting, and also those on our waiting list, have been safely transferred to the new services, our own Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) will close down. We will continue to do all we can until then to keep our young people safe and supported.

A big thank you to our staff

We would like to thank all of our staff at GIDS for their continuing hard work and caring approach. The external environment and announced changes are unsettling for patients. We appreciate our staff’s ongoing commitment to them patients and families. As Hilary Cass herself writes:

“I have previously said that the care of gender-questioning children and young people needs to be everyone’s business, with responsibility taken throughout the health system rather than resting solely with a small expert workforce. The staff working at GIDS have demonstrated compassion and a strong professional commitment towards their patient population. Their experience and continued engagement will be essential in ensuring a smooth progression to the new service model. At the same time, we need to encourage, grow and develop the future workforce that will be key to the delivery of regionalised services.”

Have your say

NHS England will be launching a consultation on the interim service specifications for the Early Adopter services. We will share more information about this on the GIDS website as soon as possible.

Further reading

Read the announcement about the Early Adopter services on our GIDS website.

Read an update from 25 August, with more information about the future services.

Read some answers to common questions on the GIDS website.