8 episodes

From Tortoise, journalist Polly Curtis tells the story of the Gender Identity Development Service for children and young people at the Tavistock. The Tavi, as it’s known, is the only NHS clinic in England and Wales which treats children suffering from gender dysphoria. Its critics have accused it of fast-tracking young people into changing gender. Its supporters argue it has provided help and support, even a lifeline for some. In a few months time the clinic will close. This is the story of what happened.
You can listen to the full series ad-free and get access to exclusive bonus content by downloading the Tortoise audio app or subscribing to Tortoise+ on Apple podcasts. Or join ts a member to support our investigations and get invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership.

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The Tavistock: inside the gender clinic Tortoise

    • News
    • 4.1 • 246 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

From Tortoise, journalist Polly Curtis tells the story of the Gender Identity Development Service for children and young people at the Tavistock. The Tavi, as it’s known, is the only NHS clinic in England and Wales which treats children suffering from gender dysphoria. Its critics have accused it of fast-tracking young people into changing gender. Its supporters argue it has provided help and support, even a lifeline for some. In a few months time the clinic will close. This is the story of what happened.
You can listen to the full series ad-free and get access to exclusive bonus content by downloading the Tortoise audio app or subscribing to Tortoise+ on Apple podcasts. Or join ts a member to support our investigations and get invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Episode one: A verdict

    Episode one: A verdict

    In the summer of 2022 the NHS announced it was winding up the Gender Identity Development Service for children and young people at the Tavistock. Critics of the service celebrated, its supporters were left in despair. In this series journalist Polly Curtis has spent months trying to understand what happened at GIDS. Why has it attracted such criticism and what is the best way going forward of treating young people with gender dysphoria? 
    All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 38 min
    Episode two: The broom cupboard

    Episode two: The broom cupboard

    Polly Carmichael became the director of the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock in 2009. “I remember our office was literally a room that had probably been a broom cupboard at one stage”, she recalls. But the decision in 2011 to start offering puberty blockers to under-16s, and in 2016 to widen the professionals who could refer a child to GIDS had a major impact. The numbers of people on the waiting list ticked inexorably up, until the clinic felt it could barely cope. 
    All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 40 min
    Episode three: Thin ice

    Episode three: Thin ice

    As the increase in referrals to the Gender Identity Development Service increases, the profile of the young people seeking treatment changes too. There are now two natal girls for every natal boy, a complete reversal of what it had been a decade before. Polly Curtis tries to make sense of this change and goes to Blackpool which has the highest referral rate of anywhere in England. 
    All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 35 min
    Episode four: The enemy within

    Episode four: The enemy within

    The internal divisions at GIDS and the wider Tavistock centre spill out into the open. Whistleblowers are publicly critical of GIDS. One accuses the service of fast tracking young people onto puberty blockers after just one meeting with clinicians. The senior leadership team at GIDS desperately tries to hold the team together. Meanwhile the numbers on the waiting list tick up and up. 
    All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 34 min
    Episode five: The noise

    Episode five: The noise

    The public debate around the work of the Tavistock is getting louder. Kiera Bell wins a landmark ruling at the High Court which halts all new referrals for puberty blockers for under 18s on the NHS in England and Wales. She was prescribed puberty blockers at 16 but later decided she wants to detransition. The Tavistock appeals and the ruling is overturned. But for many people the narrative of the Gender Identity Development Service is now set in stone. 
    All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 38 min
    Episode six: The real scandal

    Episode six: The real scandal

    Polly Curtis investigates why NHS England accelerated the closure of GIDS and what the future of the service could look like for children and young people. 
    All episodes are now available to listen for free. Tortoise members can listen ad-free and get access to bonus content coming soon, as well as more Tortoise investigations and invites to exclusive events. Go to tortoisemedia.com and enter the code Polly50 for half price membership.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
246 Ratings

246 Ratings

law261 ,

Balanced and common sense based podcast

Typically there is a backlash to anyone who asks questions regarding the trans movement. Questions do need to be asked and voices given to the parents and those who have genuine concerns. Mermaids do not come across well at all. Social media has taken this issue to the heights of hatred on both sides but no one is a transphobe for having the health both physical and mental of young people at heart.

Vasilis.Moschas ,

Another report on trans that lacks impartiality and true insight

Started at an interesting tone but went downhill, reaching disturbing levels of transphobia. The trans boy’s mother gave me the creeps. Also, what can I say about Freedman, comparing trans to anorexic, emos and goths. The presenter’s bias becomes prevalent despite her efforts to conceal it.

Nicola Cherry ,

Gentle and sensible

A worthwhile listen which only the most rabid and disingenuous listener from either side of this complex topic could object to.

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