The scope of the Review is to look at current models of care for children and young people questioning their gender identity or experiencing gender dysphoria.
Throughout the Review we will examine all the relevant research and evidence in this area, speak with a wide range of relevant stakeholders and interested parties, and develop recommendations about future services.
A more detailed scope can be seen in the Terms of Reference.
We are aiming to publish a final report by the end of 2023 and we will post all significant updates and changes on this website.
This can be a fast-moving issue and it is important that the Review is responsive and flexible. We have shared findings and early advice at different points throughout the Review and will continue to not wait until the full Review is completed before reporting any new developments.
In March we published an Interim report, which represented the Review’s work at that point and we have published Dr Cass’s letters to NHS England; including her July 2022 letter, which set out the key components of a new regional service model. We also continue to post blogs and general updates on our website.
There are still a number of publications to come before the final report, specifically in regard to our research programme, findings from which are expected throughout 2023.
The Review wants to hear from the diverse range of voices that are relevant to its work and will be conducting a wide-ranging stakeholder engagement programme, alongside its research programme, to ensure that the full spectrum of relevant evidence, research and opinion is taken into account.
However, it should be recognised that the Review is not a formal consultation or a voting mechanism and the Review team can not commit to respond to each individual comment submitted.
Yes, the Review has an important remit to consider best practice models of care from across the world, as well as engaging with relevant professionals from such countries. This will be a specific part of the Review’s research programme.
The Cass Review was commissioned as an independent review of NHS gender identity services for children and young people. Its terms of reference do not include consideration of the proposed legislation to ban conversion therapy.
No LGBTQ+ group should be subjected to conversion therapy. However, through its work with clinical professionals, the Review recognises that the drafting of any legislation will be of paramount importance in building the confidence of clinicians working in this area.
This is a complex and fast-moving field in which the law, politics, and social and cultural factors can all play significant roles. While the Review is cognisant of these, they will not distract it from the independent process being undertaken to arrive at evidence-based recommendations on providing safe clinical care for children and young people in future.
On occasion the Review may be asked to provide expert opinion on related issues. Such requests will be considered on a case by case basis, responding through the appropriate channels.
We will post all significant updates and developments on this website and highlight them in relevant channels.
The Review uses social media channels in two ways. Firstly, to make proactive announcements and provide updates about the Review. Secondly, to provide extra channels for engagement for those who prefer to use them.
While encouraging engagement through these channels, the Review will not be responding to individual questions or comments made, but instead use them to inform these FAQs and its wider evidence gathering.
The Review is not taking place within a vacuum and it is important for the Chair and Review team to be aware of the public discourse that relates to, and may impact on, the work of the Review.
We have created a Cass Review account on Twitter @TheCassReview to facilitate engagement and announce news and updates via that platform, as we know it is used by a lot of the individuals and communities relevant to our work. The official Twitter account for the Review is for broadcast only and does not follow any other account. While the Review team monitor the discussion on Twitter and reactions to our posts, we will seek to cover common questions and comments within the FAQ section of the website.
Dr Cass has regularly followed people on all sides of the debate to ensure that she is aware of a broad spectrum of views. As stated in our social media and comments policy, “Review Team members may follow accounts on Twitter that they believe are relevant to their work or external interests. This could include following the Twitter accounts of organisations and individuals who comment on issues relating to the Review. Decisions to follow a particular Twitter user within a personal account, does not imply endorsement of any kind.”
The scope of the Review is to consider NHS models of care for children and young people, so NHS and privately provided gender services for adults – that is, those who are 18 or over – are outside our remit.
However, the movement of young people from children’s services to adult services is clearly relevant in terms of the wider context of the Review’s work. Health services that support young adults with gender dysphoria or gender incongruence, including for example the pilot services operating in England, who currently see patients from the age of 17, are therefore of interest to the Review.
It is important to note that it is not the role of the Review to scrutinise existing services relating to gender identity – whether provided by the NHS or others – but rather to research and build the evidence base in order to make recommendations about the future model of NHS services for children and young people exploring their gender identity and experiencing gender dysphoria.