Gender incongruence services for children and young people: new NHS England interim service specification

Find out more about the new interim service specification recently published by NHS England

June 2023

In our January edition of Regulate, we discussed inclusive care for trans and non-binary patients, specifically gender identity services for children and young people who are experiencing gender incongruence and dysphoria and the role of pharmacy teams in this context.

As explained in that article, NHS England commissioned an independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, on how children and young people presenting with gender identity issues, are assessed, diagnosed, and provided with care. This included the publication of an interim report with initial findings and recommendations.

Since then, NHS England has published a new interim service specification (9 June 2023) which sets out how care will be provided to children and young people, and their families, who express gender incongruence and who are likely to benefit from clinical support. This aligns with plans to build a more resilient service by expanding provision and enhancing the focus on quality in terms of clinical effectiveness, safety, and patient experience, with new services being commissioned against the new interim service specification.

The service specification followed on from a public consultation which ran from 20 October to 4 December 2022 and received 5,183 responses. The full consultation report is available on the NHS England website.

The interim service specification supersedes service specification E13/S(HSS)/e Gender Identity Development Service for Children and Adolescents (2016).

It’s important that pharmacy professionals keep up to date with resources, publications and guidance on this complex area of care, to help them to make well-informed judgements and deliver person-centred care, within the current relevant legal and regulatory context.

While the new service specification has been published by NHS England, our earlier article and the updated resources may be of wider interest to pharmacy professionals working across Great Britain.

Other key resources include:

•    NHS England Service Specification: Gender Identity Services for Adults (Non Surgical Interventions); 2019 as amended; 1719

•    NHS England statement: Implementing the recommendations from the Cass Review (updated June 2023)

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