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Time to Think


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About the Author

Hannah Barnes is an award-winning journalist at the BBC's flagship current affairs programme Newsnight. She led its coverage of the care available to young people experiencing gender-related distress, which helped precipitate an extensive NHS review and unearthed evidence that was later used in several sets of legal proceedings. Newsnight's reporting also led directly to an inspection by the healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission, which branded the NHS's only youth gender clinic in England 'Inadequate.' The management team of the clinic was disbanded as a result and the work was nominated for an array journalism awards, including the prestigious RTS Television Journalism Awards.

Over the past decade and a half, she has specialised in investigative and analytical journalism. Prior to joining the Newsnight team in 2016, Hannah was a daily programme editor at Radio 4's Today. She has spent many years reporting and producing a variety of BBC Radio 4's most respected long-form programmes and documentaries, including More or Less, Analysis, and The Report, as well as others for BBC Radio 5 Live and the World Service.


‘An exemplary and detailed analysis of a place whose doctors, Barnes writes, most commonly describe it as “mad”... Powerful’ - Financial Times

‘A deeply reported, scrupulously non-judgmental account of the collapse of the NHS service, based on hundreds of hours of interviews with former clinicians and patients. It is also a jaw-dropping insight into failure: failure of leadership, of child safeguarding and of the NHS’ - Sunday Times

‘This book is a testament to the moral courage of Hutchinson and colleagues who sought to expose the chaos and insanity they saw while practising by stealth the in-depth therapy they believed young people deserved … And Hannah Barnes has honoured them with her dogged, irreproachable yet gripping account’ - The Times

'This incredibly important book shows that we still don’t know how many children were damaged for life. I want every institution and every politician who pontificates about gender to read this book and ask what happened to all those lost girls and boys – and why they were complicit’ - Daily Telegraph

‘At times, the world Barnes describes feels like some dystopian novel. But it isn’t, of course. It really happened, and she has worked bravely and unstintingly to expose it. This is what journalism is for’ - Observer

‘The question Barnes puts at the centre of this book is “Are we hurting children?" What follows is an extraordinarily sensitive and important piece of work that exposes the huge price some of our young have had to pay for a system that was simply not rigorous enough in asking that question. Time to Think – which explores the rapid rise and phenomenal growth of the GIDS clinic at the Tavistock – is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how safeguarding concerns got lost, despite the best intentions of practically all those involved. 'The testimonies in the book are raw, honest and moving. More than that they are a vital piece of evidence that shows – without prejudice – where things went right, where things went wrong and, remarkably, the thousands of cases of young people where we still don’t know' Emily Maitlis

'Time to Think shows what happens when the exponents of an ideology, so certain of its righteousness, capture a field of medicine, silencing critics, refusing even to collect follow-up data on whether its treatments actually work' - The Times Best Books of 2023 So Far

‘A powerful investigation … The interviews with staff and children — some who have happily transitioned and some who have not — show how complex the issues are. Not a comfortable read but meticulous and thought-provoking’ - Camilla Cavendish, Financial Times, Best Summer Books of 2023

'Meticulous and scrupulously researched book on Gids’ downfall' - Lucy Mangan, Guardian

'A brilliant book written in a very thoughtful way about the failures of the Tavistock clinic' - Wes Streeting

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