BREAKING: NHS England bans puberty blockers for children

The National Health Service England (NHS) banned the prescription of puberty blockers for children at gender identity clinics on Tuesday, a move welcomed by the UK government

Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: “We have always been clear that children’s safety and wellbeing is paramount, so we welcome this landmark decision by the NHS.

“Ending the routine prescription of puberty blockers will help ensure that care is based on evidence, expert clinical opinion and is in the best interests of the child.”

This decision follows "a public consultation, an interim policy and an independent review of gender identity services for under 18s, commissioned by NHS England in 2020," The Times reports.

The review was conducted due to the shockingly sharp increase in children being referred for puberty blockers to the Gender Identity Development Service (Gids) in London run by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

More than 5,000 children were referred from 2021-2022, compared to under 250 around 10 years ago.

The clinic will be closing at the end of March.

The report, compiled by Dr Hilary Cass, recommended that other services should be created to help youth that may be questioning their identity.

Other NHS services that offer “holistic approach to care” from clinical experts in neurodiversity, paediatrics and mental health will open at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool next month.

This is a breaking story. Refresh for updates.

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