An open letter to Dr Polly Carmichael from a former GIDS clinician


Open letter published on


This is a fairly courageous open letter by Kirsty Entwistle, a former clinical psychologist at the “Gender Identity Development Service” (GIDS) in Leeds.

The letter is addressed to Dr Polly Carmichael, director of GIDS, which is based at the The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust in London.

The Tavistock Clinic is the main NHS centre for dealing with gender issues in the UK. Carmichael consequently wields a great deal of power.

The main thrust of the letter is that life changing treatments are being administered to children with little-to-no repeatable evidence of their safety for use. Claims of reversibility are being made when no such evidence exists.

The letter then criticises the clinic’s alignment with an “affirmative” model for children rather one of informed consent. This means clinical staff have a natural bias toward diagnosing and pursuing treatment for gender dysphoria, when listening and challenging them may be more appropriate.

Linked to this is a culture of bullying and fear among GIDS staff. Entwistle was allegedly accused by colleagues of making transphobic remarks for going against the grain and challenging a diagnosis of gender dysphoria in a child. This is chilling.

Entwistle also alleges that previous attempts by GIDS staff to raise these concerns have been ignored.

These claims have been given further weight by leaks from GIDS, and the NHS’ alteration of its online guidance on gender dysphoria. Separate posts are forthcoming on those.

Bonus points for the abusive (and provably incorrect) message left below the Medium article by a trans activist.

Fear not, most of the comments were supportive of Entwistle and heavily upvoted compared to this one.