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LONDON (LifeSiteNews) — The UK National Health Service’s (NHS’s) scandal-ridden Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) has seen almost 400 children younger than six years old and more than 70 aged four or younger, according to government data released ahead of an upcoming review of medical practices for gender-confused minors.

The Daily Mail reports that GIDS, which is operated by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, has seen a dramatic spike in young patients over the past decade, from just 136 in 2010-11 to 3,585 in 2021-22. The clinic, which has no minimum age limit, saw 12 three-year-olds, 61 four-year-olds, 140 five-year-olds, and 169 six-year-olds. The numbers will be followed by a more comprehensive report by consultant pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass containing recommendations for policy changes.

READ: Detransitioner Chloe Cole slams Ohio governor for vetoing ban on ‘sex changes’ for children

Tavistock personnel insisted that seeing a child does not necessarily mean going through with any “transition” efforts, which it said children as young as three would not have received. But critics retort that the fact that they saw anyone that young in the first place is scandal enough.

“They should never have been seeing three-year-olds,” said former health minister Jackie Doyle-Price. “There needs to be a clear message that goes out to let kids be kids. Let them play and use their imaginations. We shouldn’t be medicalizing something which is just growing up.” Doyle-Price added that part of the issue was that activist groups were allowed to make referrals instead of just doctors.

NHS officials, acknowledging that natural child curiosity about opposite-sex toys or clothes is “usually not indicative of gender incongruence,” are reportedly considering a new age minimum of seven years old for referrals to GIDS, but critics warn that standard is too lax and the problem runs deeper.

“Children really don’t need gender clinics,” said Stephanie Davies-Arai of the group Transgender Trend. “Unfortunately, some parents are now worried that their gender non-conforming child may have been ‘born in the wrong body’ and need professional help. This has been pushed by transgender activists who have no understanding of perfectly normal childhood developmental stages.” She added that by age seven, parents may already “have ‘socially transitioned’ their child for years so the child arrives at the clinic fully convinced they are really the opposite sex.”

“It is tragic that their parents would not have known that the clinic was using treatment approaches biased towards affirmation and unsupported by rigorous evidence,” added Conservative MP Nick Fletcher. “We have not even begun to understand how gender ideology managed to get such a strong grip on the NHS – including the Adult Gender Clinics which are seeing vulnerable teens and young adults and which have, to date, escaped the close scrutiny of, for example, the Cass Review. We need to turn a spotlight on this in the New Year. Our NHS must be driven by science and evidence – not ideology.”

Studies find that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it, including by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

Many oft-ignored detransitioners have attested to the physical and mental harm of reinforcing gender confusion, as well as to the bias and negligence of the medical establishment on the subject, many of whom take an activist approach to their profession and begin cases with a predetermined conclusion in favor of “transitioning.”

In the United States, such physicians have also been caught on video admitting to more old-fashioned motives for such procedures, as with an exposé last year about Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Clinic for Transgender Health, where Dr. Shayne Sebold Taylor said outright that “these surgeries make a lot of money.”

Back across the pond, the GIDS Tavistock clinic has long been a source of controversy, from its backing of a discredited study used to justify giving puberty blockers to 11-year-olds, to a case last August in which it approved a “sex-change” procedure for a 22-year-old suffering from over a dozen mental health disorders.

While the executive branch of America’s federal government barrels full steam ahead in support of imposing gender ideology on medical care, leaders in England appear to be moving in the opposite direction. In addition to the aforementioned review, this October, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay announced that NHS guidelines would be adapted to ensure protections for female patients, such as prohibiting gender-confused men from accessing the same hospital wards meant for women.