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Mermaids Press

Everyone deserves access to timely, supportive and holistic healthcare. However, across all of the UK, the NHS is failing trans youth, with appalling waiting lists of more than six years, virtually no first appointments offered for over a year, and increased politicisation of the support offered to children and young people. 

Trans youth tell us they want services which are accepting and respectful, which offer supportive spaces to explore their gender, and provide access to medical transition if and when they need it. 

The Cass Review, an independent review of NHS England gender services for children and young people, published today (Wednesday 10 April) after almost four years, echoes much of this and recognises the current system is failing trans youth. 

We are pleased the voices and experiences of trans young people appear to have been heard and respected, and we welcome Dr Cass’ calls for trans children and young people, and their families, to be “treated with compassion and respect”. We hope for the same, and for the sharing of clear, accurate information when discussing this topic.

However, we are concerned that some of the language in the report is open to misinterpretation and could be used to justify additional barriers to accessing care for some trans young people in the same way the interim report has been. We will publish our full analysis of The Cass Review in due course.

NHS England has published their immediate response to The Cass Review and written to all adult providers, explaining the changes they plan to make in the short to medium term. Very few of these will have an immediate effect on children and young people, and we will keep trans young people and their families informed about any changes that might impact them. 

In the meantime, we call on NHS England, and the NHS across the UK, to resist pressures from those who seek to limit access to healthcare, listen to trans youth directly, and act urgently to provide gender services which are timely, supportive and holistic. 

If you need support or have questions about what this might mean for yourself or your young person, please contact our helpline team. We’re here for you Monday – Friday, 9am – 9pm.