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An Update on the Judicial Review
In June, I announced that along with another claimant (Parent A) that we were launching a Judicial Review against the NHS, as such, a letter of action was issued to the Secretary of Health on June 2nd 2023.
Without your help, and financial aid; this would not have been possible. Thank you so much for sharing, donating and supporting our initial claim.
Since our launch in June there have been significant developments, which I can now share with you.
New claimants have come forward.
Parent A and myself will no longer act as claimants.
Due to these developments, our team has decided that a new judicial review will be the most effective route forward, placing us in a much stronger position.
Recap on the Case
We believe that the model of care for young adults with gender dysphoria is profoundly unsafe and urgently in need of additional protective measures and independent review.
The concerns raised in the CASS review about the innovative and life changing nature of medical treatment, its inadequate research basis, an affirmative model of treatment and diagnostic overshadowing do not simply cease to become a problem because a young person reaches 17 years old and transfers to adult services.
With an increased lack of parental involvement and a shortened and more limited assessment basis these problems are only magnified and safeguards minimised.
We are asking for the same considerations, safeguards and protection for vulnerable adults, which have since been adopted for under 18’s. These concerns remain and are central to the subsequent legal challenge.
Since launching the action, others have come forward, deeply concerned for their young adult children.
You can read more about the new Judicial Review here.
Anna Castle and Ms C have daughters aged 16 and 17 years old who are on the waiting list for treatment and will be set to be seen by the adult clinics. Their case mirrors our concerns that young vulnerable adults, with comorbid conditions are not granted the same protections as under 17s.
Since we sent out our pre-action letter to the NHS on 2nd June, they have issued a new service specification for gender dysphoria for children and young people on 9th June. That specification is much more cautious. Puberty blockers are only prescribed in a research protocol. Psycho-social approaches are the primary approach to treatment.
These guidelines apply to paediatric clinics for young people up to 18 years old. But 17 year olds can alternatively receive treatment at an adult clinic under the specifications we seek to challenge – no mandatory psychological intervention and treatment after 2 appointments.
Why should vulnerable adults receive less protection and safeguards just because they have passed the magic age of 17 years old? Not only is this deeply concerning, but is quite plainly bizarre, irrational and discriminatory.
Parent A has had an extraordinarily difficult time due to recent events. Because of this and the response received from the NHS’s lawyer, he has decided that to step back as a claimant.
He will continue to support the action and any parents that come forward.
The response received from Blake Morgan, the legal firm represented the NHS have rejected my position as a claimant, on the basis that the guidelines have now been changed since I had my treatment.
“Mr Herron's complaint appears to be twofold.
Firstly, he considers - in essence - that he did not receive correct medical assessment and advice at the time of his surgery in 2018, such that he was persuaded to undergo a procedure he later regretted.
Secondly, he describes painful and distressing physical consequences of his surgery. He may, depending on the wider circumstances, have a claim for clinical negligence in respect of his treatment but he has not put forward any position that would suggest he has grounds for bringing a public law claim against NHSE.
It is notable that the approach for assessment and diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and the subsequent surgery of which Mr Herron complains, were concluded before the service specifications challenged in the Letter of Claim came into operation.”
In short, this means I don’t have a standing to challenge the NHS existing guidelines, as I underwent medical interventions under now obsolete guidance.
Because of that, there is no basis for me to bring a judicial review as an individual claimant. That is questionable as the approach adopted for me is similar to that in the new service specification.
Nonetheless this is an important procedural objection. I do not want to lose the opportunity to raise my concerns because of procedural objections.
However, the NHS have emphasised that a medical negligence claim is the appropriate course of action for me. My own pursuit for medical negligence is continuing with Slater & Gordon under a pro-bono agreement.
This would also be the case for those who underwent treatment under the old guidelines, and have faced harm; they may have a claim.
I strongly feel that outside of under 18’s, the most at-risk group at being harmed by gender affirmation are 18-29 year olds. Those in this age group are completely disregarded from safeguards that have been afforded to under 18’s. We would like those safeguards extended to adults.
I believe if someone is capable of consenting, and has a proven period of stability, including seeking support for existing co-morbidities and ailments like addiction; only then should an individual be considered for medical and surgical interventions.
Those interventions, should be scrutinised for quality, aftercare and efficacy. Right now, this is not occurring. Therefore, I am of the opinion that all Gender Affirmation surgeries in the UK are not currently safe, and should be halted pending a systematic review.
I will do whatever it takes to ensure the most harmed are heard, and accounted for. And I believe the way forward is by supporting this action.
What does this mean going forward?
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, without you we couldn’t have done any of this.
Your contributions made that possible, and we have raised nearly £12,000. Thank you! All those contributions have been used to pursue the legal process.
Please consider sharing, donating and raising the profile of the new Judicial Review action.
Together, we are standing strong to bring much needed change for vulnerable adults with gender dysphoria.
Thank you for on going support!
Everything I do, I do for free. If you haven’t already donated to the Judicial Review, please consider doing so. You can do so here: