NHS England bans puberty blockers for children

NHS England bans puberty blockers for children

The National Health Service (NHS) England has issued a ban on puberty blockers for children who identify as transgender.

NHS England based its decision to ban puberty blockers for children this week on there not being enough evidence on the procedure’s safety or clinical effectiveness. The U.K. government also endorsed the “landmark decision,” hailing at as being in the “best interests of children.” NHS England proposed a ban on the procedure last June and issued the definitive decision following a review from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

“NHS England has carefully considered the evidence review conducted by NICE and further published evidence available to date,” an NHS England spokesperson said. “We have concluded that there is not enough evidence to support the safety or clinical effectiveness of puberty-suppressing hormones to make the treatment routinely available at this time.”

According to the Guardian, the new ruling means that “the new regional services caring for under-18s with gender dysphoria, which open next month, will not use them as part of the treatment.”

“From now on, children and young people will only be able to get them if they are taking part in a clinical trial. At least one such trial is due to start later this year, but no details, such as who will be eligible to join it, have been published,” the outlet added.

Maria Caulfield, the health minister, also celebrated the decision.

“We welcome this landmark decision by the NHS to end the routine prescription of puberty blockers and this guidance which recognises that care must be based on evidence, expert clinical opinion and in the best interests of the child,” said Caulfield.

“The NHS must ensure its Gender Identity Services protect, support and act in the best interests of children and we will continue to work with NHS England to protect children in this area,” she added.