DiscoverThe Tavistock: inside the gender clinic
The Tavistock: inside the gender clinic
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The Tavistock: inside the gender clinic

Author: Tortoise Media

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From Tortoise, journalist Polly Curtis tells the story of the Gender Identity Development Service for children and young people at the Tavistock. The Tavi, as it’s known, is the only NHS clinic in England and Wales which treats children suffering from gender dysphoria. Its critics have accused it of fast-tracking young people into changing gender. Its supporters argue it has provided help and support, even a lifeline for some. In a few months time the clinic will close. This is the story of what happened.


You can listen to the full series ad-free and get access to exclusive bonus content by downloading the Tortoise audio app or subscribing to Tortoise+ on Apple podcasts. Or join ts a member to support our investigations and get invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership.



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8 Episodes
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From Tortoise, journalist Polly Curtis tells the story of the Gender Identity Development Service for children and young people at the Tavistock. The Tavi as it’s known is the only clinic in England and Wales which has treated children suffering from body dysphoria. Its critics have accused it of fast-tracking young people into changing gender. Its supporters argue it has provided help and support, even a lifeline. In a few months the clinic will close. This is the story of what happened.All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Episode one: A verdict

Episode one: A verdict

2022-12-0142:08

In the summer of 2022 the NHS announced it was winding up the Gender Identity Development Service for children and young people at the Tavistock. Critics of the service celebrated, its supporters were left in despair. In this series journalist Polly Curtis has spent months trying to understand what happened at GIDS. Why has it attracted such criticism and what is the best way going forward of treating young people with gender dysphoria? All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Polly Carmichael became the director of the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock in 2009. “I remember our office was literally a room that had probably been a broom cupboard at one stage”, she recalls. But the decision in 2011 to start offering puberty blockers to under-16s, and in 2016 to widen the professionals who could refer a child to GIDS had a major impact. The numbers of people on the waiting list ticked inexorably up, until the clinic felt it could barely cope. All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Episode three: Thin ice

Episode three: Thin ice

2022-12-0839:522

As the increase in referrals to the Gender Identity Development Service increases, the profile of the young people seeking treatment changes too. There are now two natal girls for every natal boy, a complete reversal of what it had been a decade before. Polly Curtis tries to make sense of this change and goes to Blackpool which has the highest referral rate of anywhere in England. All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The internal divisions at GIDS and the wider Tavistock centre spill out into the open. Whistleblowers are publicly critical of GIDS. One accuses the service of fast tracking young people onto puberty blockers after just one meeting with clinicians. The senior leadership team at GIDS desperately tries to hold the team together. Meanwhile the numbers on the waiting list tick up and up. All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Episode five: The noise

Episode five: The noise

2022-12-1542:161

The public debate around the work of the Tavistock is getting louder. Kiera Bell wins a landmark ruling at the High Court which halts all new referrals for puberty blockers for under 18s on the NHS in England and Wales. She was prescribed puberty blockers at 16 but later decided she wants to detransition. The Tavistock appeals and the ruling is overturned. But for many people the narrative of the Gender Identity Development Service is now set in stone. All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Polly Curtis investigates why NHS England accelerated the closure of GIDS and what the future of the service could look like for children and young people. All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The story of Gender GP and its founder Helen Webberley, labelled by one newspaper as one of Britain’s most controversial doctors.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Comments (4)

Non Dairy Canary

Meet the Webberleys. The closest thing the 21st century has to Josef Mengele.

Sep 19th
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Non Dairy Canary

Hadley Freeman. At last, a voice of reason.

Sep 17th
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Non Dairy Canary

Ten minutes later, and now the reporter is buying in to sex being 'assigned at birth' and 'misgendering' being on a par with GBH. No critique, pure blind obedience to the ideology. That's it, I'm done.

Sep 15th
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Non Dairy Canary

Less than halfway in to the first episode, and they are already falling into the ideology's most obvious trap, that of equating transgenderism with homosexuality. Very disappointing. I expected better of Tortoise, particularly when they've made such a big deal of this series supposedly being balanced, and allowing the listeners to make their own minds up. Don't know if I can be bothered listening further now, to be honest.

Sep 15th
Reply