Irish children sent to the UK to be assessed for gender identity

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Lynne Kelleher

Irish children are being sent to the UK for assessment over their gender identity, according to the Irish Examiner.

Over the past three years, almost 80 children were sent to England by the HSE.

The Irish Examiner reports that less than 20 patients are currently receiving medical treatment at the Gender Endocrinology Service in Crumlin in Dublin, and some are on puberty-blocking hormones.

Six out of 10 who are referred back to the Children's Health Ireland Hospital receive psychosocial support.

Some 46 children went through the Treatment Abroad Scheme to the Gender Identity Development Services at Tavistock Clinic in London in 2018 but that number more than halved last year (2019) to 20 children.

Another 12 children who were unhappy about their biological sex were referred to the specialist NHS clinic in London which treats transgender children in 2017.

Formal assessment

Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin say they are currently treating less than 20 patients at their Gender Endocrinology Service - and some are on puberty-blocking hormones.

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“Some of these patients are on GnRH Gonadotropin-releasing hormone”, said the hospital in a statement.

Puberty suppression using gonadotropin-releasing hormone works by suppressing the rise in of the natural hormones - oestrogen and testosterone - that accompanies puberty.

“A child can only be referred to the GIDS at Tavistock Clinic via a consultant who is practising within the Irish Health Care system”, said the Crumlin Hospital.

It added: “After a child has been formally assessed by the GIDS at Tavistock Clinic and needs further treatment they are then referred to the Gender Endocrinology Service at CHI at Crumlin and assessed by a Paediatric Endocrinologist.”

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