The West London Mental Health Trust have announced that they will be closing the country's largest gender identity clinic.
The news comes as demand for gender services continue to rise. According to Gay Star New
s, the number of referrals to the clinic have risen dramatically from 498 in 2006-7 to 1892 in 2015-16.
The trust, who announced they would be ending their contract with NHS England today (August 25), issued a statement about the news, saying that they will focus on mental heal services instead of gender support because "societal understanding of this issue has improved so vastly".
"This has been challenging for the clinic and resulted in waiting times that are longer than we would like," they continued.
"The Trust has come to the conclusion that patients requiring gender identity services would be better served in the long term by another provider, and has therefore served notice on our contract to NHS England."
There is no other gender identity clinic in the capital, with the Charing Cross clinic's closure leaving just six clinics nation-wide: in Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, Daventry, Nottingham and Exeter.
The trust have assured service users that they won't close for at least six months. The Chair of NHS England's Gender Identity Task and Finish Group said in a statement to Gay Star News that they "are working with the Trust and clinic staff to ensure that a new provider is found as soon as possible, and that the process is seamless for patients."
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