Hilary Cass warned of threats to safety after ‘vile’ abuse over NHS gender services review

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The doctor behind a landmark review of the NHS’s gender identity services for children and young people has said fears had been raised about her personal safety amid online abuse after the report’s release.

Dr Hilary Cass told the Times she wished to address the “disinformation” circulating about the findings and recommendations handed down by the Cass review when it was published on 10 April.

She said she had received online abuse in the wake of the report and had been advised to stop using public transport.

The report said the evidence base for gender medicine in young people had been thin and children had been let down by a “toxic” public discourse around gender.

Cass told the Times: “I have been really frustrated by the criticisms, because it is straight disinformation. It is completely inaccurate.

“It started the day before the report came out when an influencer posted a picture of a list of papers that were apparently rejected because they were not randomised control trials.

“That list has absolutely nothing to do with either our report or any of the papers.”

Referring to the online abuse she had received, she said: “There are some pretty vile emails coming in at the moment, most of which my team is protecting me from, so I’m not getting to see them.”

She added: “I’m not going on public transport at the moment, following security advice, which is inconvenient.”

The report said the now shuttered Gender Identity Development Service (Gids) at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, the only NHS gender identity development service for children in England and Wales, used puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones despite “remarkably weak evidence” that they improved the wellbeing of young people and concern they may harm health.

The report recommended that young people struggling with their gender identity should be screened to detect neurodevelopmental conditions and there should be an assessment of their mental health, because some who seek help with their gender identity may also have anxiety or depression, for example.

When the report was released, Cass stressed that her findings were not intended to undermine the validity of trans identities or challenge people’s right to transition, but rather to improve the care of the fast-growing number of children and young people with gender-related distress.

NHS England has since announced a second Cass review-style appraisal of adult gender clinics. Cass confirmed to the Times that she would not take part in the adult report after the abuse she suffered in recent weeks.

She said: “You heard it right here: I am not going to do the adult gender clinic review.”

Source: theguardian.com

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