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Back in October, we told you we were preparing to issue proceedings against NHS England over its long-standing, lengthy and unlawful delays to meeting trans people’s healthcare needs.
Less than two months later, we are now filing our claim for Judicial Review. In that time, the shape of the case has changed slightly, so we wanted to tell you what’s new.
We’re bringing this claim against the NHS alongside two adult claimants, two child claimants and trans-led grassroots charity Gendered Intelligence. The claim now focuses on six key problems with NHS trans healthcare provision. We argue:
Eva Echo, one of the adult claimants in this case, explains the impact of waiting so long for treatment. “I would describe being on the waiting list as torture, and there were times when I felt that I may not even be alive long enough to receive my first appointment. Being on the waiting list was no comfort; I desperately needed help.
“My mental health was worse than it had ever been; coming out had allowed me to recognise my gender dysphoria, but I was left completely alone to manage it. I felt, and still feel, completely let down by the system that I thought was there to save me.”
For too long, the NHS has failed to prioritise trans healthcare. We, alongside many affected individuals, medical professionals, families and campaigners for trans rights, believe the current system is not fit for purpose. The available services simply aren’t meeting the needs of the people they should be helping. Too many trans people have died waiting for the treatment they were entitled to. Many more suffer in ways that are entirely preventable. The bottom line is that trans people have a right to access essential care, just like everyone else.
Since this blog was published, we have withdrawn Ground 5 and part of Ground 6 in light of the Defendant’s decision to withdraw the GIDS Service Specification and replace it with a new Interim Service Specification from Spring 2023. We are currently seeking separate legal advice on this matter.
You can also read the expert witness statement from academic specialist Dr Michael Toze, which provides important background to the case.
If you are in a position to support the fight for trans healthcare rights, you can donate here.