News Statement

The Sandyford Young People’s Gender Services, based at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, announced today a pause in referrals to Paediatric Endocrinology from the young people’s gender service. The Sandyford is the only gender service for young people under 18 in Scotland and means that for new patients under 18, they will no longer be able to access gender affirming hormone treatment including puberty blockers, testosterone or oestrogen via the NHS in Scotland. 


This change will have a big impact on many trans young people in Scotland and it’s important to know the facts.


If you are already being treated by Paediatric Endocrinology:

  • The pause on prescribing will apply only to NEW patients – so if you already have a prescription for gender affirming hormone treatment you should not be affected. You should have received a direct communication regarding this. If you have not, please reach out to the Sandyford clinic.

If you are on the waiting list:

  • Your place on the waiting list will not be impacted
  • When you reach the top of the waiting list, if you are still under 18 you will be able to access psychological support but not puberty blockers AND/OR testosterone / oestrogen.


This announcement comes on the back of a challenging week for the trans community and should you need support then you can reach out to your local youth worker, or if not registered with our services, speak to the LGBT Youth Scotland team via our Live Chat or contact partners such as:


If you want to know what we think about this, we strongly believe that this decision is to the detriment of trans young people who already need to wait around four years before a first appointment.   This means that for many young people, they will never even have an appointment with a gender clinic before they turn 18.  Our Life in Scotland Trans report highlighted that 81% of participants experience anxiety which can be exacerbated by the long time spent waiting for an appointment.[1]  The removal of hope to access to gender affirming hormone treatment should they reach the top of the waiting list before then can only add to this.

Our Trans Right’s Youth Commission said:

“As a youth commission we are hurt, frustrated, disappointed, and scared, but the first and foremost feeling is anger. We are angry. We are angry that we have been abandoned yet again by a service that is supposed to protect and help us. We are angry that public opinion and perceptions appear to have once again swayed a service that should be putting young people at the front of all it does. We are angry at the lack of respect and empathy that is emanating from these services. Trying to access gender care in the NHS, regardless of age, is already an incredibly stressful and often demeaning experience. Our identity is put under unnecessary scrutiny by a team of strangers who try to decide if we are truly who we say we are when we are just trying to live our lives and access healthcare that makes us happy and comfortable in our bodies, healthcare that saves lives.


As a commission we feel this move from Sandyford is going to directly harm young people. Being transgender, especially in such a negative political climate, can have severe negative impacts on one’s mental health and accessing gender affirming treatment can and has saved lives. This move will increase rates of bad mental health among transgender young people, it is going to continue to validate a society which is not supporting some of its most vulnerable members, and it is preventing young people from thriving. Being unable to access puberty blockers can force individuals to go through a process that they already know will make them uncomfortable and unhappy. Gender affirming care should be about respect for bodily autonomy and it should be about helping people reach their potential and to feel comfortable and safe in their own body. This move is not about that. Furthermore, mental health services are already overloaded, we are seeing primary care services turn trans people away for non-gender related issues simply because they are worried about what to do with a trans person, and refusing to prescribe endocrine therapies for trans people under the age of 18 is simply going to add onto this pressure to other youth services.


We disagree with the recommendations made by the Cass review as puberty blockers have been shown to give trans young people more time to think about their identity and prevent changes that are an uncomfortable and dysphoria inducing experience. Furthermore, in the long-term they save many trans people money as if a person does not have to go through a puberty they do not want in the first place, surgeries and other procedures can be avoided.


Finally, we would like to be clear about the wonderful impacts that accessing gender affirming care can have. The experiences of members of our commission and other transgender young people that we know find that gender affirming care has helped people feel safer in public, feel free to express themselves and take up space and to feel more comfortable going out without fear of immediately being read as something they are not. Gender affirming care allows us to breathe and opens us up to deeply loving and caring about ourselves. It makes us feel more comfortable interacting with those we love and the world around us. Gender affirming care is about our right to do what we want with our own body. It is freedom. We deeply urge Sandyford to reconsider this decision.”


You can see the statement from the Sandyford here, and it might be of interest to read the response from our friends at Scottish Trans here.

[1] LGBT Youth Scotland. 2023. Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People: Trans (Including

Non-binary) People’s Report, 2024. Available online: