FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In November 2022, a coalition including Gendered Intelligence and Good Law Project brought NHS England to court, arguing that disproportionately long waiting times for trans healthcare were discriminatory. We argued that these waiting times, predating the pandemic and the current NHS crisis by many years, showed that the NHS was not fulfilling its legal duty to offer first appointments for trans-related healthcare services within 18 weeks.
Today’s judgment hands down that - even though there are clearly disproportionate waiting times for trans healthcare - this is not discriminatory, and that even if it were, NHS England is taking actions in order to not be in active breach of its legal duties. On this and other grounds we failed to convince the judge that the failings at such a scale that the court should enforce an order or a declaration.
Gendered Intelligence has been clear from the start of this case that while any legal outcome is important, of equal importance is raising awareness of the dire straits in which trans healthcare finds itself in the UK. As a trans-led charity, our central aim is to increase understandings of gender diversity. Despite having lost the legal case, we have succeeded in having trans voices heard and trans stories shared, in increasing understandings of gender diversity, and in communicating our healthcare needs and concerns with the wider public. We have helped galvanise our communities, with the resounding message that ‘enough is enough’ being met with a great deal of sympathetic media coverage and public support.
We understand that this judgment will be difficult for many people, particularly those trying to navigate horrendous and unjust waiting times themselves. We too are disappointed, and we send solace and strength to everyone fighting an uphill battle just to access basic healthcare. We want to send particular thanks and solidarity to the four individuals who acted as claimants.
The fight for adequate and equal healthcare for trans people goes on: GLP will be seeking to appeal the judgment. We will continue to stand up for people’s right to timely healthcare, including trans people, and hope that we as a community can make this a reality sooner rather than later.
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