RCPCH responds to further advice from the independent review of gender identity services for children and young people

Dr Hilary Cass has written to NHS England to set out the key components of a new regional service model, as described in the Review’s interim report. The letter also provides advice on how gaps in the existing evidence base may be addressed.

You can find a copy of the letter and the interim report here. 

We acknowledge the latest recommendations from the Cass Review and agree that a new model is needed to increase capacity and reduce significant waiting times to the Gender Identity Development service. All children and young people with gender-related distress must be supported and able to access appropriate psychological and social support. The implementation of a regional model that focuses on reducing waiting time and providing tailored support to the individual needs of children and young people is welcomed. 

We also agree that more research is needed to understand the best treatment options for children and young people with gender dysphoria and are pleased to see NHS England and National Institute for Health and Care Research collaborating on the upcoming research infrastructure.  As paediatricians, we ask that the wellbeing and rights of children and young people remain at the very heart of this research and discussion.  

We know that this may be an unsettling time for many children, young people, and their families. We urge the NHS and other organisations to respond to and support young people during this transition. The Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust has developed some frequently asked questions for current patients of the GIDS service, which young people and their families may find helpful to see.