A 14-year-old transgender teen is taking legal actions against NHS England following delays to gender reassignment treatment.
A teen known as “Reece” was referred to Britain’s only youth gender identity clinic in 2019. Now, the 14 year-old has been told there is another year-long wait to receive treatment.
Represented by the Good Law Project, a legal charity, the organisation claimed the NHS were breaching its waiting time rules that guarantees patients access to care within 18 weeks. They added that this delay is causing the teen “distress and uncertainty”.
Following the complaint, an independent review has been confirmed to go ahead and further explore “the issue of youth gender care referrals”.
An NHS England spokesperson has confirmed the review will also look into “how and when children and young people were referred to specialist services”.
Good Law Project director Jolyon Maugham said there had been “a real pushback against trans rights” in Britain.
“Those who have a political interest in the space are projecting their politics onto the bodies and the lives of children, in a way that I think is profoundly morally objectionable,” he reiterated.
The teenager at the center of this pressing NHS England case spoke to the BBC about the legal action taking place. Reece admits legal action is not something he would’ve liked to go ahead with as “nobody else is sticking up for trans young people”.
“I know more than 30 trans people, from school and LGBT groups. Everybody’s been waiting for months, or even years, but nobody’s been able to get in yet,” he said.
“It’s scary because it shows the service isn’t available to the people who need it.”