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Doctors damn Coalition NHS record, Gerada embroiled in row over party politics and the number of children with gender dysphoria quadruple

More than 140 senior doctors have cast a damning verdict on the Coalition Government’s stewardship of the NHS in an open letter to the Guardian, saying its legacy will be one of ’ broken promises, funding cuts and destructive legislation’.

Conservative MPs tried to brush off the letter as a Labour-instigated ‘stitch-up’ but signatories including former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada denied this.

She told the Telegraph: ‘I’m not an activist in the Labour Party. This is a view of many doctors who have serious concerns about the state of the NHS as it is now.’

The letter called on the next Government to repeal the Health and Social Care Act changes which they said had driven the NHS towards a market-driven, ‘out-for-tender’ mentality.

Children aged 10 or under referred to the NHS for support with gender dysphoria, has quadrupled in the past six years, the Telegraph further reports.

Figures from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, the UK’s only centre specialising in gender issues in under-18s, said the number of kids under 11 referred to the unit had risen from 19 in 2009-10 to 77 in 2014-15.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: ‘There is not one straightforward explanation for the increase in referrals, but it’s important to note that gender expression is diversifying, which makes it all the more important that young people have the opportunity to explore and develop their own path with the support of specialist services.’