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Private hormone clinic becomes UK’s first to be approved by regulator – here’s why that matters

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Paul Carruthers and Aidan Kelly discuss why their work is more important than ever given the “discourse” that surrounds gender-affirming care.

WORDS BY CONOR CLARK HEADER BY ANISA CLEAVER After a private hormone clinic for transgender youth recently became the first of its kind in the UK to receive approval from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), staff are hopeful that the service will be a lifeline for those struggling with their gender identity.

Paul Carruthers, a nurse consultant who is heading up the Gender Plus Hormone Clinic after spending two decades with the NHS, tells GAY TIMES that the approval from England’s independent health watchdog is more important than ever given “what’s going on politically and the discourse around trans healthcare” right now.

The CQC’s stamp of approval will allow clinicians working at the clinic to prescribe hormones to patients aged 16 and over while being routinely regulated to ensure that the services are safe, effective and well led. “We welcomed the CQC registration and now that we’ve got it, they’ll come and inspect us,” he continues, “check that all of our policies are up to date, that we’re working to them to a high standard and, importantly, safeguarding our patients, as well as safeguarding my staff as a manager.” Dr Aidan Kelly, a clinical psychologist specialising in gender identity who founded the Gender Plus Hormone Clinic, explains that “disinformation” surrounding services like his continues to be rife, but hopes the backing of the CQC will reassure those with concerns. “I think identity more broadly,” he adds, “whether it be gender or, you would see it with immigration, we see it in other areas of society, activates and people get really organised around it and passionate for good or bad reasons about this.” “I think, when you train as a healthcare professional, whether it’s nurses, doctors, psychologists or whatever, you need to leave any of those ideologies or beliefs at the door.

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