Former head of the trans charity Mermaids Susan Green referred children to the Tavistock gender clinic under the National Health Service (NHS), even against the wishes of their general practicioners (GPs), according to documents recently uncovered. Green, who does not possess any formal medical training, was said to have a direct line to the clinic’s director, Dr. Polly Carmichael, and sought to be recognized as a ‘professional,’ allowing her to provide referrals for young individuals without the backing of their GPs.
The documents, spanning over 300 pages and viewed by The Sunday Telegraph, reveal email correspondence between Green and Dr. Carmichael. Green, who is now employed by Gender GP, an online service that prescribes puberty blockers, proposed in 2016 that a referral was denied as it ‘was not validated or risk-assessed by a professional.’ When questioning whether her status as a ‘professional’ was recognized, Dr. Carmichael confirmed that the clinic accepts referrals from third-sector groups, acknowledging Green’s previous contributions.
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust initially denied releasing emails or minutes from meetings with Green, who was part of a group reviewing services at Tavistock from 2014 to 2018. However, after facing potential High Court action, the trust released the documents last week. Critics argue these documents demonstrate the influence lobby groups held over the Tavistock clinic’s administration.
The Tavistock clinic, based in London, was ordered to close last year following a review by Dr. Hilary Cass which highlighted ‘considerable risk’ to the mental health of young people. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Tavistock indicated that the clinic collaborates with various third-sector patient support groups and charities. Green confirmed her involvement in the service specification, while Mermaids maintained that it’s a recognized referral partner for Tavistock. The charity emphasized that all decisions regarding individual medical treatments have always been made at the clinical level.