EPATH’s Response to the Cass Review on Transgender Care for Adolescents

The final Cass review regarding transgender care for adolescents in the UK published last month has received much media attention. The EPATH board took some time to read the 400 page report and scientific reviews and formulated their response, which is published on our website.

The Cass review represents the culmination of a multi-year investigation initiated by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS). This investigation focused on the scientific basis for treating transgender youth and the experiences of those involved in transgender care within the UK. The report contains 32 recommendations aimed at reorganizing transgender care for youth in England and Wales. The review was prompted by concerns related to the surge in referrals, the evidence supporting provided care, and the functioning of the NHS Tavistock Clinic’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS). At the time, GIDS was the sole national care service with a substantial history of clinical expertise in this field. Cass advocates for several key changes, including increased research about transgender care, enhanced availability of care across multiple locations, and a more multidisciplinary approach, which includes mental health care for transgender youth.

EPATH largely aligns with Cass’s recommendations, particularly in areas such as reducing waiting lists, disseminating knowledge, and encouraging further research. However, EPATH also expresses concerns about the feasibility of implementing Cass’s recommendations, equitable access to care, the evaluation of underlying evidence, and the ethical considerations surrounding care provision.

Read our full response here.