Sajid Javid MP, said the NHS needed to be “extremely cautious”
This brings the grand total of children on puberty blockers since the Government pledged to crack down to at least 100.
Javid, who gave the Cass Review extra-legal powers when he was health secretary, said he had been “determined to protect vulnerable children from an overly affirmative approach”.
“This increase risks more vulnerable children being harmed. Given the impact is permanent and life changing, the NHS should be extremely cautious – as recommended by the Cass Review,” he told The Telegraph.
Dr David Bell, a consultant psychiatrist and Tavistock whistle-blower, told The Telegraph that they caused “considerable damage”.
“It is not the case that the safety of puberty blockers is ‘unknown’. We know quite a lot. There are serious concerns about bone mineralisation and long-term cognitive effects,” he said.
“We know 98 per cent of children starting puberty blockers go on to take opposite-sex hormones, and a very significant proportion of those go on to have surgery,” he added.
“They are being started on a pathway which is highly likely to be irreversible. Once you start them on that path, it creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
The NHS has come under frequent criticism for being too 'woke'PA
He said the clinics’ overreliance on prescribing them meant that other conditions were not being diagnosed.
She also called for the closure of Tavistock clinic, the NHS' gender identity clinic for children, stating that it operated an “affirmative, non-exploratory approach” in diagnosing gender-related issues.
New clinics replacing the Gender Identity and Development Service (Gids) were set to open this year, however have been delayed.
They are now expected by spring of 2024, The Independent reported.
Cass said many children referred to Gids have complex needs that can overlooked and around a third have a type of neurodiversity condition instead.
Around 8,000 are currently waiting for treatment and will be transferred to a new clinic once Tavistock is closed.