Chief medical officer’s response to Cass Review due by end of June – minister

Scotland’s chief medical officer (CMO) will deliver a report on the implications of the Cass Review into gender care services before the end of June, a minister has said.

Sir Gregor Smith is overseeing a multi-disciplinary team which is assessing what Dr Hilary Cass’s report will mean for Scotland’s health service.

The Cass Review examined gender care services in England and criticised the lack of evidence around the use of puberty blockers and other medical intervention.

Following the publication of her review, two Scottish health boards – one of which covers the only gender clinic in the country for young people – decided to pause the prescription of puberty blockers to new patients.

During the Tories’ debate on the Cass Review at Holyrood on Wednesday, deputy leader Meghan Gallacher said she intends to keep raising the issue until all the recommendations are acted upon.

She said: “Now that the Greens have been successfully removed from Bute House, this is an opportunity for a reset in how we look at gender care in Scotland.

“The nationalists must give up dithering and delaying on implementing the recommendations of the Cass Review, which they have done since it was commissioned four years ago, and urgently commit to protecting our young people.”

Public health minister Jenni Minto responded for the Government, saying it is important to “carefully consider” the paediatrician’s review.

Sir Gregor Smith
Sir Gregor Smith is leading a team examining the Cass Review (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament/PA)

Ms Minto said the Government had funded research from Glasgow University on gender care services and a multi-disciplinary team in the CMO’s directorate is examining the implications of the Cass Review for Scotland.

She said: “The chief medical officer will provide a written update to Parliament on the outcome of that clinical consideration process before the summer recess.”

Speaking during the debate, Labour’s Dame Jackie Baillie said staff at the Sandyford clinic in Glasgow are doing an “incredible job” but are not being supported to do so.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said he worries the Scottish Parliament’s track record on trans rights is about to change.

He said few contributions in the debate had mentioned trans people themselves, and said there is a context of a “wave of transphobia with marginalised people’s views rarely heard”.

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