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We want to support an appeal against the High Court judgment which rejected our attempt to tackle the extreme waiting times faced by trans people seeking help from NHS England.
Permission has been granted to appeal the decision, and – significantly – we have been told there is a ‘real prospect’ that the Court of Appeal may reach a different conclusion. But we need your help to support the co-claimants in the case to take this important next step.
England is an international outlier when it comes to trans healthcare – and not in a good way.
The NHS has a duty to see 92% of those referred to specialist healthcare services within 18 weeks, yet the average waiting time for young transgender people is nearly three years, and many adults face waits of four years or more.
This cannot continue unchecked, and that’s why we and five co-claimants went to the High Court last year to argue that these waiting times, and other failures in trans healthcare services, are discriminatory and unlawful. The court did not agree – but still we think that the waiting times are unlawful.
Unusually, the judge who made the initial decision gave permission to appeal, without referring the case up to the Court of Appeal to make the decision.
In giving permission to appeal, he said that there was a ‘real prospect that the Court of Appeal might differ from the reasoning at - of my judgment’ and that ‘the point is of sufficient general importance to justify consideration by the Court of Appeal.’
We need your support to help take this case to the Court of Appeal. We are hugely grateful for the support we have received so far. Without the generous donations from members of the public, it would not have been possible for us to take on this important case.
But we can’t continue this work without your support. The estimated costs in the High Court will exceed the net sum we have raised by £168,000. As things stand we have to bear those ourselves.
You can read more about our attempt to tackle the extreme waiting times faced by trans people seeking help from NHS England here.
The appellants have instructed Thomas de la Mare KC (who has replaced David Lock KC since the previous stage following David’s retirement), Jason Pobjoy and Rook Irwin Sweeney to act for it. They are acting at significantly below market rates.
10% of the sums raised will go to Good Law Project so that we can continue to use the law to create a better, fairer, and greener future for the UK.
Thanks to everyone who donated and the many more who helped us spread the word, we have been able to meet our £50,000 initial target to support this important case, which will be heard at the Court of Appeal on July 11 and 12.
As the appeal is now costing £10,000 more than we hoped it would, we are now raising towards a £60,000 stretch target. If you are in a position to donate, any amount big or small would be greatly appreciated.
This case was dismissed in July 2023 [link to blog]. The claimants, supported by Good Law Project and following advice from our lawyers, will not be applying for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. While it’s the end of the road for this case, we stand in solidarity with members of the trans community fighting for better access to healthcare. We will continue to do what we can to support trans and non-binary people to live their lives free from inequality.
We are incredibly grateful to the thousands of you who chipped in to support this important case, showing how many of us agree that everyone should be able to access the healthcare they need.