Boss of trans charity Mermaids repeatedly overruled GPs
The boss of a trans charity referred children to the NHS Tavistock gender clinic – even when their GP had repeatedly refused to do so, documents have revealed.
Mermaids's ex-chief Susie Green, who has no known formal medical training, was said to have a direct line to clinic director Dr Polly Carmichael.
She reportedly demanded to be regarded as a 'professional' so she could send referrals for young people who were unsupported by their GP. In one case she was said to have sent one noting that the GP 'has consistently refused to refer'.
More than 300 pages of documents, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, include emails between Dr Carmichael and Ms Green, who now works for Gender GP, an online service which prescribes puberty blockers.
In 2016 Ms Green suggested a referral was rejected because it 'was not validated or risk-assessed by a professional'.
'I can only assume from this statement that I am not seen as a professional?' she wrote to Dr Carmichael. 'If you do not accept referrals from Mermaids due to the fact that I am not a professional I would like to know the reasoning behind this?'
Dr Carmichael replied: 'We do accept referrals from third sector groups and I know you have helpfully sent in referrals in the past. This continues to be the case.'
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust had initially refused to hand over emails or minutes of meetings with Ms Green, who was part of a task group reviewing services at the Tavistock, between 2014 and 2018 following a Freedom of Information request.
When the clinic was threatened with High Court action, it finally complied with the request last week.
The London-based clinic was told to close last year after a review by Dr Hilary Cass found it left young people at 'considerable risk' of poor mental health. Plans for a replacement have been delayed.