England Overhauls Medical Care for Transgender Youth

The National Health Service in England announced on Thursday that it was shutting down the country’s only youth gender clinic in favor of a more distributed and comprehensive network of medical care for adolescents seeking hormones and other gender treatments.

The closure followed an external review of the Tavistock clinic in London, which has served thousands of transgender patients since the 1990s. The review, which is ongoing, has raised several concerns, including about long wait times, insufficient mental health support and the surging number of young people seeking gender treatments.

The overhaul of services for transgender young people in England is part of a notable shift in medical practice across some European countries with nationalized health care systems. Some doctors there are concerned about the increase in numbers as well as the dearth of data on long-term safety and outcomes of medical transitions.