NHS bosses ‘blocked’ vital healthcare advice for pregnant trans people: ‘It’s dangerous’

Pregnant trans man

NHS bosses have reportedly “blocked” vital health advice for trans and non-binary pregnant people in a decision called “dangerous” by a whistleblower.

Officials spoke to a “range of people” to produce the resources for the English NHS website, nhs.uk.

But senior bosses have allegedly “blocked” the release of the advice for almost a year, the whistleblower told the i.

“The NHS is there for everybody. If this content is not being progressed at the same as other content, then it’s discriminatory and it’s dangerous,” they said. “People can die.”

Senior website staff are said to have debated raising the alarm about the pages not being published during an internal online meeting.

“I’m waiting to see if someone spills the beans on the senior individuals who are blocking our trans pregnancy content section which has been ready to release for too long,” one manager said, according to a screenshot seen by the i.

“We’ve produced a number of pages for [the] transgender community related to pregnancy but have had these blocked for nearly a year now,” another added.

The whistleblower said that similar online advice “would never take a year” to be published. “This was a big piece of research, made by speaking to a whole range of people – different genders – to understand their user needs,” they said.

One NHS Trust has produced optional guidance for midwives to support trans and non-binary pregnant people. (HANNAH MCKAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Optional guidance produced by the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust says that trans and non-binary birthing people face “additional challenges” when it comes to childbearing.

“Gender inclusion midwives” are advised to offer patients tailored support, such as pronoun badges and allowing them to choose how they refer to their own reproductive anatomy

But support for trans and non-binary parents-to-be shouldn’t be constrained to a single trust. Researchers have found trans men and non-binary people feel “disempowered” by the structural barriers they face in pregnancy care, and recognising the diversity in childbearing is the bare minimum needed.

The LGBT Foundation, a national LGBTQ+ charity, found that three in 10 trans and non-binary birthing people did not access perinatal care on the NHS or privately.

Many of the 121 respondents said they feared healthcare providers would discriminate against them or refuse to offer them treatment altogether.

Of those who did receive support, however, 28 per cent said they were “not treated with dignity and respect”. Less than half said healthcare staff “respected their gender all the time” or respected their decision-making around feeding their baby.

Anti-trans moral panic, driven by the press and politicians alike, has seen any attempt to improve the experiences of trans and non-binary pregnant folk met with rigid criticism.

A 1953 law, for example, has prevented trans men like Freddy McConnell from being legally recognised as his children’s father.

The Birth and Deaths Registration Act says that whoever gives birth to a baby can only be recorded as the mother on the birth certificate. This means McConnell – as well as same-sex couples and couples who use a surrogate – cannot be accurately registered on birth certificates.

While so-called “gender-critical” activists have repeatedly said allowing trans people to use the language that best describes their own anatomy will “erase” women.

Transphobic trolls even targeted a midwifery magazine in 2021 all because it dared to feature a pregnant trans man on its cover.

“The NHS is there for everyone regardless of gender. Guidance on the nhs.uk website is regularly reviewed by clinicians and updated,” an NHS spokesperson said in a statement to PinkNews.