First private hormone clinic for transgender youth approved in the UK

The Gender Plus Hormone Clinic received approval from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to offer hormones to patients aged 16 and over.

Photo of clipboard and teen talking, article is about a new transgender clinic
Image: Photo by SHVETS production

The Gender Plus Hormone Clinic in England, which also has offices in Dublin, has received approval from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to offer hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to transgender patients aged 16 and over.

This is the first private clinic that will be able to offer comprehensive gender-affirming healthcare for transgender and non-binary youth in the UK.

In addition to providing essential gender-affirming care through hormone prescriptions, the clinic will also offer support to teens throughout the transition process. The staff will be trained to answer hormone-related questions and provide guidance related to gender transition, sexual orientation, mental health, and neurodiversity.

A statement posted on the clinic’s website says, “Regulation by the CQC ensures health and social care services in England are safe, effective and well-led, providing compassionate, high-quality care.”



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The first appointment will offer time for the patient and a parent or guardian to ask questions and learn about gender identity development, and hormones can be prescribed to patients after they have completed three to six assessment appointments with a clinical psychologist as required by current national and international guidelines.

Only one in-person appointment is required, while most can take place over Zoom. This is welcomed news for transgender teens in Ireland who are regularly referred to clinics in the UK to access care.

Because Ireland’s current model for transgender healthcare has been identified as the worst in the EU for its 10-year waiting lists and intrusive and harmful evaluation practices, travelling outside of the country for care is the only option for many. But this is not a realistic option for all.

Speaking about the news with GCN, Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) said, “We welcome the steps Gender Plus are taking to improve access to safe accessible healthcare within Ireland and know that the service will be helpful to many young people and their families still badly let down by the current state of publicly funded gender affirming healthcare across the country.

“Unfortunately the trans community in Ireland still face the worst rated gender affirming healthcare in the EU and while it’s positive news private providers are trying to fill the gaps left through an absence of public provision, these types of service are only be available to those who can afford them. We continue to call on the government and the HSE to commit to introducing a model of care for services in line with the international standards set out by the World Health Organisation.”

Conservative news outlets have spread false information about transgender identities, but overwhelming evidence demonstrates that trans teens do not regret transitioning.

Access to gender-affirming care reduces rates of depression, gender dysphoria and suicide among transgender people, and a 2022 study confirmed that 98% of teenagers who access gender-affirming healthcare continued using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) into adulthood.

Senior clinical psychologist Dr Aidan Kelly who founded the clinic stresses that in addition to medical interventions, social factors including acceptance, inclusion, listening and support are equally important when it comes to helping teens feel comfortable in themselves.

Dr Kelly said, “In this area where there’s so much scrutiny and uncertainty from parents, patients and other professionals, this (CQC decision) is a stamp of approval and lets people know we are held to the highest standard.”

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