Dr Stuart Lorimer stated on twitter that the Gender Clinic prefers to be hosted by a non Mental Health provider.
Dr James Barrett, Lead Consultant at the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC), on behalf of GIC clinicians, said:
“The gender identity clinic is not closing.
“To clarify, we clinicians have long felt that West London Mental Health Trust is not a good fit for the unique and specific service we provide (the vast majority of those we see are not mentally ill).
“Increasingly, we feel our patients would be better served by us if we worked somewhere better able to support and develop a more tailored approach to gender.
“There are a number of options in terms of alternative providers. We would not make any move unless confident that patient care would be markedly improved.
“Until that point, current arrangements will still apply. Our aim is for any change to be a positive one, and any transition to be as seamless as possible.”
WLMHT made the following assurances:
- This does not mean services are stopping now – we will continue to provide services as normal until such time as a new provider is able to take over; this is likely to be at least six months.
- Patients from London and the South East will not be left without services or have to travel much further – NHS England as the commissioner for gender identity services will find a suitable alternative provider as quickly as possible.
- Patients will not have to start their treatment all over again – continuity of care for our patients is the number one priority for clinic staff. GIC staff will work closely with NHS England and a new provider to ensure disruption to treatment is kept to an absolute minimum.
- This does not mean we will let services deteriorate – WLMHT and the GIC will continue to deliver on plans we have developed with NHS England to improve access to and quality of services while it continues as the provider.
- We will not reduce staffing levels – while we remain the provider of this service we have an obligation to ensure there are sufficient qualified staff to maintain and continue improvements in access and quality.
- We will ensure a smooth handover to the new provider, working closely with our colleagues at the GIC and NHS England