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Case Update

Four years is too long to wait for healthcare: We’re going to court

11th May 2022
Aldara Zarraoa / Shutterstock

This week, we received the fantastic news that we have permission to bring our legal challenge against trans healthcare failures to court.  

For too long, trans people have faced life-altering – and sometimes life-threatening – waits for specialist NHS healthcare. We believe that these waiting times, and other failures in trans healthcare services, are discriminatory and unlawful. The delays predate the pandemic by many years. 

Eva Echo, one of the 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.”

Alongside our two adult claimants, Eva and Alex, two child claimants, and trans-led organisation Gendered Intelligence, we applied last December for permission to bring a judicial review against NHS England on six grounds. This month, Mr Justice Choudhury agreed that all six of these grounds are arguable. So, the case will now proceed to a full hearing in the High Court. 

The date has not yet been set, but we expect to be in court this autumn. We will update you when a date is confirmed.

Time and again, trans people are being failed; it’s clear the current system is not fit for purpose. This court case will be a vital moment in the fight for healthcare for trans and non-binary people. Healthcare should be for everyone. 

We are grateful for your support. If you are in a position to support the fight for trans healthcare rights, you can donate here.

Read the permission decision here


This article is part of our We are just people too case

England is an international outlier in trans healthcare – but not in a good way. In November 2022, we went to the High Court to challenge NHS England over the extreme waiting times faced by trans people trying to access specialised healthcare. In January 2023, we received news that our challenge had been rejected by the Judge – but we were also granted permission for an appeal, which was disappointingly dismissed in July 2023.

See more about this case