Location: Woodvale Coroner’s Court
Before HM Coroner for West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Sarah Clarke
Date: 13 October 2023
The next hearing in Alice Litman’s inquest has been listed for Friday, October 13, 2023 at 10:45am, at which the coroner is expected to deliver her full written findings and conclusion.
Alice was 20 years old when she took her own life on 26 May 2022. She had been on the NHS waiting list to receive gender-affirming healthcare for 1,023 days at the time of her death and had not received her first appointment. As a trans woman, Alice’s family believes her death was partly a result of the inaccessibility of gender-affirming healthcare.
Alice’s inquest took place between 18-20 September 2023, during which evidence was presented that systems providing gender-affirming healthcare in England are inadequate. Someone joining the waiting list for the Tavistock’s Gender Identity Clinic today faces a wait of twenty years under current waiting times.
At the end of the evidence, the coroner said that gender affirming care was ‘underfunded and insufficiently resourced’ and indicated that she would deliver her full written findings in two weeks. A hearing date has now been set for 13 October.
The coroner has also indicated that she will be making reports to prevent future deaths, concerning:
- How a person is managed between adolescent and adult mental health care.
- Knowledge and training for those offering support to those in the trans community.
- Access to gender-affirming healthcare.
- Lack of access to mental health care for those waiting to receive gender-affirming care.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The family are represented by Partner Anna Thwaites and Consultant Helen Fry of Bindmans LLP, and Sophie Walker of One Pump Court, with support from Good Law Project.
- Others recognised as Interested Persons were Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (Gender Identity Development Service and Gender Identity Clinic), Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), and WellBN (Alice’s GP when she died).
- Requests to view the hearing remotely must be made no later than 12pm on Wednesday 11 October 2023 to the Coroner. Space is limited at the hearing.
- Journalists should refer to the Samaritans Media Guidelines for reporting suicide and self-harm and guidance for reporting on inquests.
- Journalists may also find the Trans Media Watch guidance on reporting on trans people useful.
- Alice’s sister, Kate Litman, previously wrote this opinion piece about her experiences and concerns.