Entry 1 – Getting going (January 2021)

Posted in: Journal

This is the first in a series of regular blogs I will be sharing about the Review and our work, as we seek to ensure that the best models of care are available from the NHS for children and young people questioning their gender identity or experiencing gender incongruence.

I have made it one of the Review’s founding principles to be transparent and in future, these blogs will be hosted on dedicated Review webpages, along with other information about our work, so that everyone understands what we have been doing and where the process has got to.

So where have we got to so far? Well over the last few months since the Review was announced we have been developing a more detailed understanding about the current service delivery model for children and young people questioning their gender identity, and the broader challenges across the whole pathway of care.

We have also been looking at what evidence is already available and what more we may need to gather through our own programme of research. I’ll be saying more about the research programme on our webpages in due course.

In order to ensure that there is proper oversight and governance, we have established a group which will provide advice on the conduct of the Review so that the process is transparent and well managed. The membership of that group and its terms of reference will also be published when they are finalised.

Of course, this is a fast-moving issue and in recent weeks there have been developments in the legal system, with the judicial review about the Keira Bell case, and in the health system following the report by the Care Quality Commission into the current service provided by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. It is important that we consider these developments as part of the wider context in which our work is taking place, and I will be sharing further thoughts on how these will affect the Review in future communications.

Talking of which, I know a lot of the stakeholders in the various communities interested in our work use twitter for their communications, which is why we have set up the dedicated twitter account on which I have posted this – @TheCassReview. We will be using this to highlight blogs and other information about the Review in future and for monitoring important feedback, so do please follow it.

We will also be developing more formal mechanisms, so you can make submissions and register as stakeholders interested in the Review – whether you are a young person, parent, professional, or other interested party. Again these will be on our webpages, along with a ‘frequently asked questions’ section and other ways of submitting questions and evidence to the Review.

I do hope this is all helpful to know. Please let the Review team know if you have further thoughts and questions (on @TheCassReview) and we will do our best to listen and provide any answers, based on what we know so far, as we go along.