Review before inquest into death of trans woman in Brighton

A coroner has ordered reports of the death of a young trans woman who had waited more than 1,000 days to be seen for gender-affirming treatment.

Alice Litman died in Brighton on May 26 last year at the age of 20.

During a review ahead of the inquest at Woodvale Coroner’s Court in Brighton on Friday, the court heard Alice was on the waiting list at the Tavistock Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) at the time of her death.

In a statement released to The Argus ahead of the review, Alice’s family said they had waited more than 1,000 days to be seen.

Her family, who attended London Trans Pride and held signs in memory of Alice after her death, said: “We believe Alice died in part due to the inaccessibility of gender-affirming healthcare in the UK.

“We want the inquiry to look into this to ensure we can get justice for Alice and make a difference for all trans people facing the same issues.

“Alice had been on the GIC waiting list for 1,023 days at the time of her death without getting her first appointment.

“We believe the long waiting lists can leave vulnerable trans people feeling hopeless and with no end in sight.

“We want to live in a world where transgender people are not threatened in their safety, autonomy and happiness.

“We all deserve to live with dignity and have access to the health care we need. We are calling on NHS England to prevent future deaths by urgently addressing the trans health crisis.”

The court also heard how Alice had received mental health support from the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust through its Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) service before being transferred to adult mental health services when she was 18.

The Argus: Alice LitmanAlice Litman (Image: Litman family)

The court found that after this transition to adult services, there was “no mental health support” and her health “deteriorated.”

Assistant Medical Examiner Sarah Clarke said she will review the availability of trans health services, recognizing that long waiting lists for such services are a national problem.

She also said she will review the transition from mental health care through CAMHS to adult mental health services “to ensure people don’t fall through the gaps” and whether the mental health services are “adequate overall”.

Ms Clarke said she was investigating back in 2019 when Alice was being mentored by CAMHS.

Ms Clarke said: “I feel pretty strong about this case.

“There are questions we can ask that might help others in the future.”

Attending the hearing were Alice’s mother, Caroline Litman, father, Peter Litman, sister, Kate, and her brother, Harvey, and their legal representative.

Also present via video link were Sussex Police Detective Sergeant Matt Stevens, Dr. James Barrett of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and Dr. Sam Hall from WellBN Brighton medical practice.

DS Stevens said police are still investigating and have access to Alice’s laptop and desktop computer, which revealed “nothing relevant” to their investigation and will soon be returned to her family.

However, they were still trying to gain access to Alice’s cell phone.

Ms Clarke requested reports from DS Stevens and Drs by March 14th. Barrett.

She said she already had reports from Dr. Hall and Gender GP received, although no one responded to an invitation to participate in the online transgender clinic’s review.

She said she will also be reaching out to CAMHS and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust to provide evidence for the inquiry.

September 18 was set as the date for the three-day investigation. Review before inquest into death of trans woman in Brighton

Fry Electronics Team

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