Firm expects as many as 1,000 former patients to join lawsuit against Tavistock gender clinic

AP Photo/Robin Rayne

The Tavistock clinic in London was the only gender identity clinic for children in England. The clinic is currently in the process of shutting down in the wake of a report which concluded some kids may have been rushed toward treatment like puberty blockers without a proper assessment of their mental condition. Now a law firm is planning a group lawsuit which it believes could attract as many as 1,000 former patients at the clinic.


Lawyers at Pogust Goodhead have accused the clinic at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust of “failures in their duty of care towards young children and adolescents”.

Head of product liability, Lisa Lunt, said: “While the provision of gender dysphoria treatment for children and young adolescents, where appropriate, is an important service, many have been let down by Tavistock and Portman NHS trust…

Tom Goodhead, chief executive of Pogust Goodhead, said he expected at “least 1,000 clients will join this action”.

He added: “These children have suffered life-changing and, in some cases, irreversible effects of the treatment they received which has resulted in long-term physical and psychological consequences for them.”

The lawsuit follows a government report called the Cass Review which found a number of potentially serious problems at Tavistock. The report also expressed concern over the sudden increase in referrals, mostly from young girls looking to become trans men.

The review, which is ongoing, has raised several concerns, including about long wait times, insufficient mental health support and the surging number of young people seeking gender treatments…

Tavistock received more than 5,000 patient referrals in 2021, up from just 250 in 2011. The types of patients seeking referrals have also shifted over the past decade. When the clinic opened, it primarily served children who were assigned male at birth. Last year, two-thirds of its patients were assigned female at birth.

It is unclear why the number of patients has surged so drastically or why transgender boys are driving the increase…

In 2020, a former patient at Tavistock, Keira Bell, joined a highly publicized lawsuit against the clinic. She claimed that she was put on puberty blockers at 16 “after a series of superficial conversations with social workers,” and had her breasts removed at age 20, decisions she later regretted.


As mentioned, this isn’t the first lawsuit aimed at Tavistock. Jazz wrote about Keira Bell’s lawsuit against Tavistock back in 2020. Here’s a bit of her story:

After a series of superficial conversations with social workers, I was put on puberty blockers at age 16. A year later, I was receiving testosterone shots. When 20, I had a double mastectomy. By then, I appeared to have a more masculine build, as well as a man’s voice, a man’s beard, and a man’s name: Quincy, after Quincy Jones.

But the further my transition went, the more I realized that I wasn’t a man, and never would be. We are told these days that when someone presents with gender dysphoria, this reflects a person’s “real” or “true” self, that the desire to change genders is set. But this was not the case for me. As I matured, I recognized that gender dysphoria was a symptom of my overall misery, not its cause.

Five years after beginning my medical transition to becoming male, I began the process of detransitioning. A lot of trans men talk about how you can’t cry with a high dose of testosterone in your body, and this affected me too: I couldn’t release my emotions. One of the first signs that I was becoming Keira again was that—thankfully, at last—I was able to cry. And I had a lot to cry about.

The consequences of what happened to me have been profound: possible infertility, loss of my breasts and inability to breastfeed, atrophied genitals, a permanently changed voice, facial hair. When I was seen at the Tavistock clinic, I had so many issues that it was comforting to think I really had only one that needed solving: I was a male in a female body. But it was the job of the professionals to consider all my co-morbidities, not just to affirm my naïve hope that everything could be solved with hormones and surgery.


Children are generally not considered capable of making irreversible adult decisions. They’re not even considered fully aware of the long-term consequences of their actions, which is why juveniles are handled separately from adults in criminal courts. So allowing children to make these kinds of decisions about their bodies, decisions which could render them incapable of having children or a normal sex life, seems like a very bad idea.

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