Massive 50 per cent rise in number of children seeking NHS gender reassignment could cost taxpayers £72m 0 30

A MASSIVE 50 per cent rise in the number of children seeking NHS gender reassignment will potentially cost taxpayers £72million.

Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust is the UK’s only dedicated gender identity clinic for under-18s.

GettyA massive 50 per cent rise in the number of children seeking NHS gender reassignment will potentially cost taxpayers £72million (stock image)[/caption]

Latest figures show from April 2021 to April 2022, the specialist mental health trust’s clinic received 3,585 gender help referrals for children — some under five — from doctors in England and Wales.

During the previous 12 months, the figure was 2,401. And there is currently a two-year waiting list to be seen.

The clinic does not take referrals for anyone under the age of 17 seeking reassignment operations.

But it does hand out guidance and other treatments such as drug and hormone interventions.

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With each surgery costing around £20,000, it could cost up to £71.7million if all 3,585 people being referred eventually opt to go under the knife.

The annual figures were revealed to The Sun on Sunday in a Freedom of Information request but the clinic declined to break down the ages.

A spokesman for the clinic said it does not have a lower age limit, but added: “Referrals under the age of five are extremely rare.

“For younger children, we will often just meet with their parents or carers, rather than the young person, to discuss how to support their child.

“Physical interventions are only available when the young person has entered puberty.

“Gender reassignment surgery is not available for anybody under the age of 18.”

The spokesman attributed the huge leap in referrals to wider acceptance of “trans identities” in society.

However, the controversial clinic has been told to shut by spring after it was criticised in an independent review.

Instead, new regional centres will be set up to “ensure the holistic needs” of patients are fully met, the NHS said.

The closure will not affect patients already on the list.

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An independent review led by the president of the Royal College of Paediatricians, Dr Hilary Cass, said the clinic needed to be transformed.

She said the current model of care was leaving young people “at considerable risk” of poor mental health and distress, and having one clinic was not “a safe or viable long-term option”.

Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust is the UK’s only dedicated gender identity clinic for under-18sGetty

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