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Tavistock transgender clinic is facing mass legal action ‘from 1,000 families’

Former patients of the NHS’ controversial Gender Identity Clinic for Children can now take legal action against it.

Thousands of young people were treated by the Tavistock center in north London – and in many cases they were prescribed powerful drugs to delay the onset of adolescence.

But now the NHS has ordered it to be closed in the wake of a damning report finding teenagers were suffering as they had to wait for treatment.

The expert who conducted the study also warned of potentially serious side effects of “puberty blockers.”

Thousands of young people were treated by the Tavistock center in north London – and in many cases they were prescribed powerful drugs to delay the onset of adolescence

Thousands of young people were treated by the Tavistock center in north London – and in many cases they were prescribed powerful drugs to delay the onset of adolescence

dr. Hilary Cass told NHS England there is no way to know if the medication could ‘disrupt’ the process of children deciding on their gender identity, rather than ‘buy them time’.

She also expressed concern that the drugs could interrupt the brain’s maturation process, impairing children’s judgment.

Her findings suggest that patients treated at the Tavistock and their parents can now sue the NHS for compensation.

They could try to prove they were damaged by the medication, which center staff allegedly claimed to be “completely reversible” despite a lack of evidence.

The patients may also argue that they could not have given informed consent to use the drugs, given the lack of knowledge about their long-term effects.

A high-profile lawsuit had previously been filed against the Tavistock by Keira Bell, who switched after prescribing puberty blockers but later regretted it.

Judges initially ruled that young people under the age of 16 could not consent to the treatment, but the ruling was overturned on appeal.

James Esses, co-founder of Thoughtful Therapists, said, “I have been approached by a number of detransitioners who are considering taking legal action.

Class lawsuits have already been filed in the US by parents of children who are prescribed puberty blockers. It’s only a matter of time before we see similar action on our shores.”

He continued: ‘Gender dysphoria is a mental illness and should be treated as such – through exploratory therapy, rather than irreversible medication and surgery.

“Far too many children are physically and emotionally scarred by decisions we should never have allowed them to make.”

John McQuater, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, said there is a “potential for claims,” ​​but only in specific circumstances.

He said: ‘A patient can only recover if he or she has been injured. The law does not require clinicians to provide an exemplary standard of care, it simply requires healthcare professionals to observe reasonable standards of care and skill.

“The decision about what level of care is reasonable is made by fellow physicians and, where the standard has fallen below that benchmark, that patient has every right to full reimbursement to make things right.”

1660207048 951 Tavistock transgender clinic is facing mass legal action from 1000

1660207048 951 Tavistock transgender clinic is facing mass legal action from 1000

A high-profile lawsuit had previously been filed against de Tavistock by Keira Bell, who switched after being prescribed puberty blockers but later regretted it.

Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of Transgender Trend, who raised concerns on behalf of the parents of Tavistock patients, said, “I imagine parents who disagreed with the treatment or approach may now consider a challenge.”

But she said that in many cases, parents were eager for their children to be treated, adding, “It’s very difficult for parents because their priority is always to maintain a good relationship with their children.”

Barrister Simon Myerson QC predicted the scandal could even lead to a criminal investigation.

He claimed months ago that “the next wave of legal action will be regarding gender identity and children” and now believes that “closing the Tavistock will speed up that process.”

‘Interesting to see which law firms do the work. I predict a police investigation into the Tavistock in June 2023,” he wrote on Twitter.

“We are in the extraordinary position that drugs prescribed to children as safe and reversible have not yet been subjected to clinical trials as to the purpose for which those children were given them. So it is unlikely that informed consent will be given to take them.”

Laura Preston, lead attorney in clinical negligence at Slater and Gordon, one of Britain’s largest law firms, said: ‘It is certainly possible that we will see a wave of claims for damages as a result of the closure of the Tavistock clinic.

“This is clearly an emerging field of medicine that requires more research and regulation to better serve the potentially vulnerable people accessing the service.

“We encourage the use of independent assessments to ensure that medical institutions adhere to the strict standards expected of them.

“In this case, Tavistock’s clinic fell short of standards, potentially putting patients at risk, which warrants investigation and may result in the need to reimburse injured patients.”

Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust insisted that the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) be closed only because the Cass review recommended a regional model rather than a single national service, and not because of security concerns.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are not aware of any claims for compensation levied by GIDS patients against the Trust.

‘The Trust is proud of its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), which has been supporting children and young people who have difficulties developing their gender identity for 30 years. It’s a caring and considerate service.’

All claims against the Tavistock would be dealt with by NHS Resolution, which deals with claims of clinical negligence across the country. The latest figures show it paid out £1.7bn in compensation to patients in the past year.

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