Scottish Government once again urged to implement the Cass review on trans child healthcare in full

Health Secretary Neil GrayHealth Secretary Neil Gray
Health Secretary Neil Gray
Scotland’s health secretary says the government is reviewing the Cass report, and recommitting to proposals to ban conversion therapy

John Swinney is once again being told he must implement the recommendations of the Cass review in full.

Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP, the Scottish Conservatives’ health spokesman, says the SNP needs to “follow the science” in the report, which looked into healthcare in England for trans children.

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This comes as Health Secretary Neil Gray confirmed the Scottish Government is considering the 32 recommendations made in the review by Dr Hilary Cass, and confirmed a re-commitment to proposals to ban conversion therapy.

Dr Gulhane said: “The SNP must stop dithering and immediately implement the recommendations of the Cass review in full.

Now that the extremist Greens are no longer in government, Neil Gray and John Swinney need to show some leadership and give clarity to vulnerable youngsters and their families over gender care.

“It’s time the SNP followed the science and expertise of the Cass report, rather than ignorant ideology.”

Prescriptions of puberty blockers in Scotland have now been paused on the back of the Cass report, which criticised the lack of evidence around their use and other medical interventions for trans children.

Speaking to BBC The Sunday Show, the health secretary said the government is now “reflecting” on the report, which focused on paediatric gender services south of the border.

He said: “Our amendment suggested we would be responding before the summer recess and that’s something I’m committed to.

“The polarised political and public discourse has not helped in terms of taking forward a very sensitive area of public health and medicine

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“That’s why I want to make sure that in responding to the Cass review we do so in a measured evidence-based way, recognising the challenges that there are for those young people that wish to seek those services, but also for the medical professionals delivering those services and making sure that families are properly supported in what is a very sensitive area of health policy.”

During his interview he also confirmed that proposals to ban conversion therapy are still on the table, as it is an “important piece of legislation”.

Conversion therapy attempts to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and while the most extreme forms of this are already illegal under existing law, the government is currently consulting on introducing a new law on this.

Last week Dr Cass told a Holyrood committee there is “fearfulness” amongst clinicians treating children who need help with gender identity over these proposals. 

Mr Gray said: “The First Minister said, I think on Friday morning, that we are going to look at the consultation and reflect upon them.

“But we are committed to continuing with that legislation because it’s an important piece of legislation.”



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