Trans healthcare campaigners lose appeal bid over waiting times

Two transgender people have lost a Court of Appeal challenge against NHS England over waiting times for gender dysphoria treatment.

Eva Echo and Alex Harvey brought legal action against the healthcare body over “extreme” waiting times for a first appointment with a specialist, along with two young people who cannot be named.

At a High Court hearing in November 2022, their lawyers argued that the organisation is failing to meet a duty to ensure that 92% of patients referred for non-urgent care at services commissioned by NHS England – including gender dysphoria clinics – start appropriate treatment within 18 weeks.

In a ruling in January, Mr Justice Chamberlain dismissed the claim, finding that this was a duty to “make arrangements” and applies to patients as a whole, rather than individuals.

The judge said it would be “odd” to make it optional to provide a service, but have a strict obligation over waiting times if the service is provided.

Lord Justice Popplewell continued: “There are important policy considerations which NHSE will have to make which may impact on waiting times, quite apart from any consideration of allocation of financial resources.

Source: Trans healthcare campaigners lose appeal bid over waiting times

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