Surgery to alter the reproductive organs or genitalia of children who are born intersex could be stopped, leaked papers show.

In draft proposals by NHS England, genital or gonadal surgery for children born with differences in sex development (DSD) would not go ahead until children could consent for themselves.

According to the document, seen by Dr Kirkland for The Times and Times Radio, there is not enough evidence for the operations. Surgery should only go ahead if there is a medical emergency, a confirmed significant cancer risk, or when the individual is old enough to consent. Charities and patients described it as courageous and a “huge step forward”.

DSD, also known as intersex, are a group of rare conditions involving genes, hormones and reproductive organs, including genitals.

Dr Kirkland discussed the draft proposals in an in-depth discussion on the Stories of our Times.