The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, together with University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has today sought permission to appeal the order of the Divisional Court handed down on 1 December in the case brought against us, Bell v Tavistock.
In the meantime, we continue to work with partners and our commissioner NHS England to respond to the requirements of the judgment.
Our first and foremost consideration is the wellbeing of our patients and their families. We have been working with partners to design a robust clinical review process for assessing cases of patients currently undergoing endocrine treatment and those currently awaiting treatment. These Clinical Reviews will provide the basis for making best interest applications to the Courts in cases where it is recommended that treatment should continue. Although we will also be undertaking clinical reviews of 16- and 17-year olds, a best interest application will only be needed where there is any doubt about their best interests.
In finalising this process we will be working with Royal Colleges and other experts. The process of clinical review will begin at the end of January. Further detail about the court process which would follow individual clinical reviews will be set out in the New Year.
Finally, we would like to again assure existing patients that their care will not be discontinued unless a patient and their clinician decides to withdraw from puberty blockers or if a court decides it is not in an individual’s best interests. At present we have paused new referrals to endocrinology. We will keep this decision under review as we progress with the case reviews and court applications for existing patients.