in , ,

NHS England Stops Prescription Puberty Blockers on a Regular Basis

Read Time:2 Minute, 19 Second

NHS England has made history by announcing that puberty blocker prescriptions will no longer be routinely written at gender identification clinics. The action was taken in response to an extensive study that found inadequate data to support the safety and effectiveness of these medications.

Access to puberty blockers, which impede the physical changes that accompany puberty, will henceforth be limited to research projects. This decision comes just a few weeks before the independent review into gender identity services in England is set to be published.

The decision was made in response to issues raised by a 2022 interim report by Dr. Hilary Cass, which noted serious gaps in the available data regarding the medications. The results of Dr. Cass’s study demonstrated how drastically the care model for kids with gender-related distress needs to change.

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), has seen a sharp increase in referrals, highlighting the necessity of a thorough evaluation. Puberty-suppressive hormones, also referred to as puberty blockers, are given to people who are unsure about their gender identity in order to slow down bodily changes like the growth of breasts or facial hair.

Less than 100 teenagers in England are now prescribed puberty blockers by the NHS, and they will be permitted to keep taking their medication. A public consultation on the use of these medications was held by NHS England the year before, and an interim policy was implemented that limited their use to research studies or special situations.

Outside of research studies, normal prescriptions for puberty blockers are forbidden under the new policy, which was confirmed on Tuesday. On a case-by-case basis, therapists may nevertheless apply for financing for certain patients.

GIDS will close at the end of March as part of the transition, and two new NHS facilities will begin in April in London and Liverpool. Over the next two years, other regional specialist centers will be opened.

Maria Caulfield, the health minister, praised the choice and emphasized how crucial it is for kids to be safe and healthy. She underlined that the move away from standard prescription is consistent with expert clinical judgment and evidence-based care.

More than 4,000 people responded to the consultation on the future of gender services, indicating a wide spectrum of viewpoints. The national director of specialty commissioning at NHS England, John Stewart, observed that the discussion on puberty blockers is quite divisive. There were many who argued against their regular availability and others who supported wider access through study.

As stakeholders continue to traverse intricate and sensitive arguments around the treatment of transgender and gender-diverse individuals, this decision represents a crucial turning point in the evolution of gender identity care in England.

What do you think?

Thames Water Rejects Funding for Initiative to Combat Pollution

The Oldest Lipstick in the World Is 5,000 Years Old