We are delighted to see that the website for the Cass Review – Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People is now live and that it will shortly be asking those who wish to participate to register their interest.
We urge younger members of the community, parents and carers to apply for your right to be heard. To ensure you are kept up to date with the timings of live opportunities to contribute subscribe to the Review mailing list.
“There’s going to be a lot of listening – listening to those who have experience either as a young person, a family member, or a professional in the field”.
– Dr Hilary Cass
You can listen to Dr Cass’ plans for what she hopes to achieve with the review here. We have also transcribed the video at the end of this post.
Much work has been done to date to better understand the situation as it currently stands for children and young people in terms of their access to care in the UK. The recent Bell V Tavistock case and CQC inspection paint a picture of an NHS service provision that needs a complete overhaul. Important work by The Women and Equalities Committee has shown that trans healthcare is not fit for purpose.
We trust that the Cass Review will move things forward towards a better solution for those young people that really need safe, timely, effective, compassionate medical care.
As a world leading provider of healthcare to trans and non-binary individuals, GenderGP will assist Dr Cass and the Review panel with our knowledge and experience of having developed a successful model of care, so that they can see what can be achieved.
We will also share the experiences of the community, our service users and those who are looking to access care. There is so much to learn from those impacted and we will be conducting research over the coming months which will form a key part of our contribution to the Review.
The crucial question the Review must seek to answer is how the young trans patient population in the UK can be better served. This is the question that we at GenderGP have been asking since day one and we look forward to sharing what we have learned over the past six years.
Transcription of Dr Hilary Cass’ video:
An introduction to the Cass Review
My name’s Hilary Cass. I’m a paediatrician specialising initially in children with disabilities. I spent a large part of my career in policy, I was involved in medical education and also as president of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health.
What is the Review about?
Initially NHS England asked me to do a very focused piece of work last year, to just look at the published evidence on the hormones that are used for children and young people with gender dysphoria, but it rapidly became apparent that there were much broader problems in the whole care of children from when they first question their gender right through to those who need medical treatment.
Why is the Review important?
From the moment I started just looking at the very simple task of looking at the published evidence I’ve just become increasingly worried about the numbers of young people in distress, on a waiting list, not getting the appropriate services, at risk, and that’s not okay. It’s just not acceptable.
How are you going to conduct the review?
First of all there’s going to be a lot of listening, listening to everybody who has experienced either as a young person or a family member or a professional in the field. Secondly, we’re going to be reviewing the existing evidence. And thirdly we’re going to be filling as best as we can gaps in that evidence with our own research, and then we have to bring all those strands together through a series of consensus round tables to get some answers.
It sounds like this might be a long process?
Well the whole process is going to take longer than anybody would like, but I don’t think we should get too hung up about the final endpoint. What’s going to be important is that this service will keep developing and growing in the interim. Now I know that feels a bit like building a plane while it’s in flight, but nonetheless I think will will have some early recommendations and we will share those as soon as we can
How can people contribute to the Review?
It’s really important that we hear the lived experience of young people and their families, and indeed some of the older people who’ve already been through the service, but we also want to hear from professionals about their worries and anxieties about how to support these young people. And then there will be formal ways to get involved in our research, in round table discussions, and in consensus discussions and service planning, so many different options along the route of the review.
What are the challenges?
I think everybody knows that this is an area in which there are incredibly strongly held views, and that the debate can get very toxic because of that. People are actually afraid to talk openly and we have to find a way to allow them to do so in a safe environment. Ultimately we’ve got to find a way to put the animosity aside to come to a shared consensus and find the best possible way forward for children and young people and their families.