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Welsh Government to review findings of landmark Cass Review

10 Apr 2024 4 minute read
Dr Hilary Cass speaking about the publication of the Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People – Image: Yui Mok

Emily Price

The Welsh Government has confirmed it will review the findings of a landmark report which found that children’s gender care in the NHS has been based on weak evidence.

Published today (April 10) the Cass Review concluded that young people have been caught up in a “stormy social discourse” when it comes to gender care.

The lengthy report, which has been described as a “watershed moment”, found that children have been let down by a lack of research and evidence on the use of puberty blockers and hormones.

The recommendations have prompted NHS England, which had already stopped puberty blockers being given to under-16s, to announce a review into the use of hormones.

It has also written to local NHS leaders to ask that they pause first appointment offers at adult gender clinics to young people before their 18th birthday, as it also intends to carry out a major review of these services.

Among her 32 recommendations, Dr Cass called for a “follow-through” service for 17 to 25-year-olds rather than this “vulnerable” group going straight into adult clinics.

The retired consultant paediatrician said: “Ideology on all sides has directed care, rather than care being directed by normal principles of paediatrics and mental health.”

She spoke of professionals feeling “anxious” about what the appropriate course of action to take has been when caring for children.

Better picture

All young people using gender services should from now on be asked to be part of research, Dr Cass’s report said, in a bid to build a better picture of the long-term outcomes for patients.

The report concluded that “for the majority of young people, a medical pathway may not be the best way” to address their needs.

The probe was first announced in 2020 after “significant concerns” were raised about care at the Gender Identity and Development Service (Gids) operating out of London’s Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

It was the only specialist gender clinic for young people in Wales and England and was closed after being branded “inadequate” by inspectors.

With the publication of the review, it emerged that adult clinics had refused to support a study on outcomes for 9,000 young people who have moved from the now-shut gender service at the Tavistock trust into adult gender dysphoria clinics.

Dr Cass said it would have been a “world-leading opportunity” to add to the evidence base and described it as “hugely disappointing” that they had decided not to take part.

Six of the seven adult clinics declined to support the study, with reasons for not doing so including ethical considerations and concerns about funder motivation and political interference.

Two new regional hubs for children’s gender care opened earlier this month following the closure of Gids – both are in England.

In Wales, children with gender dysphoria looking to speak to a doctor about changing their gender have to go to London.

Mermaids, a transgender youth support charity, said the “current system is failing trans youth” and called for the NHS to “resist pressures from those who seek to limit access to healthcare” and instead “act urgently to provide gender services which are timely, supportive and holistic”.

‘Gender distress’

Welsh Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi said politicians have “shied away” from discussing the best way forward for children experiencing gender distress.

Shadow Education Minister, Laura Anne Jones called on the Welsh Government to adopt the Cass Review’s recommendations into the new school curriculum in Wales to ensure that parents and pupils are supported.

The Welsh Government said it is committed to improving gender care in Wales.

A spokesperson said: “The Cass Review aims to ensure children and young people who are questioning their gender identity or experiencing gender dysphoria, and require support from the NHS, receive a high standard of care that meets their needs and is safe, holistic and effective.

“We are committed to improving the Gender Identity Development pathway and the support available for young people in Wales, in line with the commitments in our LGBTQ+ plan.

“We will consider the review’s findings and continue to be driven by the evidence to support the needs of young people who are questioning their gender.”


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Jay
Jay
1 month ago

The Welsh Government is a disgrace. In this up to their eyeballs, they have forced gender ideology indoctrination into schools – every child from the age of 3yrs is taught about nonsense gender spectrum and that they can be any gender they want. Then they wonder why so many kids are identifying as “queer”. This is grooming. With schools socially transitioning kids without their parents knowledge. It’s a mess in Wales and these kids are experimental fodder. Cass says stop it, but will the Welsh Government review their stance? Will they act in the best interest of vulnerable children and… Read more »

June Davies
June Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay

Your comment would have more weight if you didn’t parrot ridiculous lies like “every child from the age of 3yrs is taught about nonsense gender spectrum”.

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay

It looks like someone has tricked you into thinking The Curriculum for Wales – Relationships and Sexuality Education Code is something very different to what it actually is. https://www.gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2022-01/curriculum-for-wales-relationships-sexuality-education-code.pdf The code is overwhelmingly focused on the wellbeing, safety, protection and health of children. It will empower children with knowledge and lead them to understand what are acceptable, respectful, kind and considerate behaviours and what are not. The Relationships and Sexuality Education Code has annoyed the hell out of control freak parents and religious fundamentalists of all types. Both groups which have a history of not wanting their offspring to get… Read more »

Catie
Catie
1 month ago

Thank you for covering this. I thought Welsh media had fallen asleep at the wheel while a huge medical scandal involving our children is reported on. Not a peep from other Welsh media outlets including BBC Wales.
Sadly, Welsh Govt are up to ears in gender ideology, influenced by extreme activists and lobby groups. Children are in the crossfire. Unforgivable.
It’s out in the open now though. No one can claim they didn’t know.
Interesting to see Stonewall start to hastily reverse ferret. Must be those lucrative revenue streams drying up.

Ali Morris
Ali Morris
1 month ago

Let’s hope Welsh Government finally admits to its shameful dealings in this ideology and what it has done to the children and young people in Wales. It should withdraw its curriculum and base it on evidence that works. Dr Cass has blown all the deep seated myths out of the water and shown this cult and Welsh Government for what it is.

anon
anon
1 month ago

At last!!! someone with such a high reputation that she can’t be ignored has centered children and their safety above all else. Shows that a shower of ****wits has been allowed to dominate this field and shout down any dissenters. All political parties have been caught out now and hopefully the power of the pharmaceutical companies will wane.

Jen
Jen
1 month ago

Now can we talk about why kids with gender issues are overwhelmingly teen girls yet the trans activists are overwhelmingly middle aged trans identifying males, & how curious it is that these 2 groups are lumped together under the ‘trans umbrella’ yet have nothing in common. The Wales Government should end its chant of ‘transwomen are women’ and start looking at scientific evidence. We have endured an Education Minister (Miles) who left school with no knowledge of human biology. A former Deputy Minister for Sport, Dawn Bawden who complained when the WRU decided that it was safer and fairer to… Read more »

blc
blc
1 month ago

88% of young transgender adults (aged 18-25) have experienced suicidal thoughts and 65% have self-harmed (https://www.thepinknews.com/2023/05/03/trans-non-binary-mental-health-suicide-self-harm-research/). Young transgender people face an extremely hostile social attitude, as well as discrimination and abuse, and without access to adequate support and healthcare they are far more likely to kill themselves. Changing this starts with education at an earlier age. We’re not talking about letting six year-old little Jimmy decide that suddenly they don’t want to be a boy any more, and we’re not talking about coercing little Jimmy into being a girl. We’re talking about educating young teenagers; telling them that actually it’s… Read more »

Jen
Jen
1 month ago

Why does Wales Government give the largest grant of any of the UK governments to Stonewall.
The Audit Office should look at what value added they bring to Wales.

I Dont Exist!!
I Dont Exist!!
25 days ago

The Cass Review uses the “work” of Ken Zucker’s 90’s research on de-transition/de-distance rates, including the often-cited “85%” rate. Zucker advised parents to avoid giving “wrongly-gendered” toys to their children to change their gender identity potentially. The review focuses on individuals aged 17-25, stating that transgender individuals should not transition to adult care until age 25. This is due to lengthy waitlists for youth care, with waiting time counting towards adult services. The review suggests a “follow through” service for transgender individuals aged 17-25, labelling them as “vulnerable.”

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