Cass gender report: Scottish Government told to put trans youngsters ahead of placating 'extremist' Greens

The Scottish Conservatives are due to lead a debate on trans healthcare, where they will tell the government to urgently publish updated guidance

The Scottish Government is being told to stop “ducking, dithering and buck-passing” on the Cass review into children’s gender healthcare, ahead of an appearance by the report’s author at Holyrood.

Meghan Gallacher, deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said the SNP needed to put the health of young people before “placating the Greens” when it came to trans healthcare.

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She is due to lead a debate on this in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, where she will say clear guidance must be published now the “extremist” Greens are no longer in government.

This comes as Dr Hilary Cass, the author of the report, appears before Holyrood’s health, social care and sport committee on Tuesday to discuss her findings. The Cass review was published last month and sets out 32 recommendations for gender services in England.

It concluded there was “remarkably weak” evidence on medical intervention in gender care, and said children were being let down as gender medicine was “built on shaky foundations”. On the back of the review, prescriptions of puberty blockers were paused in Scotland.

Ms Gallacher said: “SNP ministers have let down vulnerable young Scots with their ducking, dithering and buck-passing on gender care in the wake of the Cass review.

“They insisted the decision to pause puberty blockers to new patients was made solely by clinicians, refused to confirm whether they will implement any of the 32 Cass recommendations, and failed to address the cuts to gender services.”

She said the SNP minority government now had an opportunity to take action on this after the Bute House Agreement - the power-sharing deal with the Scottish Greens - was ended. This comes after Green party co-leader Patrick Harvie refused to acknowledge the Cass review as a valid scientific document.

Ms Gallacher said: “Now that Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater have been kicked out of government, the SNP need to finally put the healthcare of young people ahead of placating the Greens, and implement the Cass findings.”

She said she was “delighted” Dr Cass was due to appear before a Holyrood committee, and stressed she hoped the SNP “will listen carefully to her evidence - which will be based on science, rather than dogma - and act accordingly”.

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A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Cass review is a comprehensive and valid scientific document. In line with NHS England – for whom the report was commissioned – we are considering all of the recommendations.

“A multidisciplinary clinical team within the office of the chief medical officer in the Scottish Government, including people with paediatric, pharmacy and scientific expertise, is leading this work. The chief medical officer will provide a written update to Parliament on the outcome of that clinical consideration process before the summer recess.

“Progress has already been made on a number of aspects highlighted in the Cass review, including NHS National Education Scotland developing training materials for staff; Healthcare Improvement Scotland consulting on new quality standards for gender identity healthcare and the University of Glasgow receiving funding to administer a programme of research into the long-term health outcomes of people accessing gender identity healthcare.

“As part of the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to improve gender identity healthcare in Scotland, we have invested over £2.8 million to support improvement work since December 2022.”



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