Gender identity healthcare

Improving gender identity healthcare for children and young people.

A new multi-disciplinary team led by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and including paediatric, pharmacy and scientific expertise, will be convened to examine clinical recommendations of the Cass Review, and consider how they may apply to NHS Scotland, Minister for Public Health Jenni Minto has told the Scottish Parliament.

Giving an update on the Scottish Government’s response to the review, which was chaired by Dr Hilary Cass, the Minister also restated the Scottish Government’s commitment to invest £9 million to support the improvement of NHS gender identity healthcare in Scotland. As part of this overall commitment, £2 million will be allocated this year and in each of the next two years.

In her statement, Ms Minto reiterated the Scottish Government’s commitment to make sure services are delivered to the highest standards, including continuing work to develop new National Standards for Gender Identity Healthcare. These standards will be published in the summer.

Ms Minto said:

“I want to start by speaking directly to our young people, and in particular our trans and non-binary people across Scotland. I know these last few weeks and months have been incredibly difficult, with increased media attention and toxic online commentary.

“I want to reassure you that the Scottish Government remains absolutely committed, not just to ensuring ongoing support is available for you, but to reforming and improving gender identity healthcare.

“We are absolutely committed to investing £9 million to support the improvement of NHS gender identity healthcare in Scotland. As part of this commitment, since December 2022, we have invested over £2.8 million to support work to improve access to gender identity healthcare in Scotland, with over £2.2 million of that allocated directly to Health Boards with gender identity clinics.

“Now we will invest a further £2 million, as a part of our £9 million commitment, this year and a further £2 million in each of the next two years and we are committed to long term sustainable funding for these services beyond that point.”

Ms Minto added:

“We already have a Strategic Action Framework for the improvement of NHS gender identity services. As part of this work, the CMO has agreed that the Deputy Chief Medical Officer and other Senior Medical Officers will support careful consideration of the Cass Review’s clinical recommendations and engage on the recommendations with the Scottish Association of Medical Directors and other clinical leaders.

“A multi-disciplinary clinical team within the CMO Office in the Scottish Government, including paediatric, pharmacy and scientific expertise, will assess the clinical recommendations and engage with the relevant clinical community and leadership in Health Boards in relation to those recommendations. The CMO will provide a written update to Parliament on the outcome of that clinical consideration process before the Summer Recess.”


Ministerial Statement on the Cass Review and Gender Identity Healthcare

The £9m funding will be delivered over a five-year period, so that work already underway can be embedded and built upon. This aligns with feedback received from Health Boards and third sector stakeholders, regarding the need to support longer term sustainability of service improvement. 

Last week NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian issued a joint statement confirming a pause on new prescriptions for puberty hormone suppressants and cross-sex hormone medication for young people, as a treatment option for gender dysphoria. The Boards’ statement also confirmed that the small number of young people currently receiving this treatment will not be affected by the pause.



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