24 March 2023

The CapX Podcast: Hannah Barnes on the rise and fall of the Tavistock’s gender clinic


How did an NHS clinic end up prescribing young people potential dangerous medical treatment with next to no data on the long-term effects? And why did that same clinic not respond to the concerns not just of outsiders, but its own staff?

These are just some of the many questions posed by BBC journalist Hannah Barnes in her new book Time To Think, which details the rise and fall of the Tavistock and Portman Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service, commonly known as GIDS.

The clinic will shut its doors later this year after a series of damning reports and reviews, and an ‘inadequate’ rating from the Care Quality Commissions. The story of how what was once considered a groundbreaking medical service became mired in infamy is a fascinating tale of managerial failure, groupthink and a failure to observe basic clinical practice – a story Hannah sets out in painstaking and at times very moving detail in what really is a ‘must-read’ book.


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John Ashmore is Editor of CapX.