Information

National Gender Identity Healthcare Reference Group: Progress update information: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002


Information requested

‘The August minutes of the National Gender Identity Healthcare Reference Group mentioned that, in response to gender care for under 18s in England, the Scottish Government provided an update outlining development relevant to commitments contained within the 2021 action framework.
https://www.gov.scot/publications/national-gender-identity-healthcare-reference-group-minutes-august- 2022/

Could you please provide more information on this update, including any notes from the meeting or any documents about the update or developments referred to.’

Response

As recorded in above publicly available minutes:

‘Secretariat highlighted a 28 July NHS England announcement relating to the future provision of gender identity healthcare for under 18s by NHS England.’

This was a verbal update specifically relating to an NHS England press release following Dr Cass’ letter to NHS England in July 2022. Officials referred members of the group to the published press release for full information.

Some of the information related to your request is available from the National Gender Identity and Healthcare Reference group web page as a line in minutes and which you already accessed as stated in your request:
https://www.gov.scot/publications/national-gender-identity-healthcare-reference-group-minutes-august-2022/.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

The verbal update as outlined above was also followed up by an email to group membership with a link to the relevant webpage (Document 1 in Annex).

You further made a request for information relating to ‘the Scottish Government provided an update outlining development relevant to commitments contained within the 2021 action framework’.

For clarity, this update related to the work of Scottish Government to improve access to and delivery of gender identity services only. This is separate from information on NHS England’s plans for future provision of gender identity healthcare for under 18s.

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections 29(1)(a) formulation/development of government policy and 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below and in the Annex to this letter.

An exemption under section(s) S 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This is because the information requested contains personal data of a third party, i.e. the names, contact details and e-mail addresses of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

Some of the information is exempt under Section 29(1)(a) as it relates to the formulation or development of government policy.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government. However, there is also public interest in ensuring that policy officials can deliberate or explore policy matters freely until an agreed position is reached, in this case which outweighs a full release.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI 202200324557 - Information Released - Annex

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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