TENI issues statement in response to Cass Review on trans healthcare

In addition to TENI, other LGBTQ+ organisations have issued responses to the Cass Review, raising concerns about some of its content.

Photo of trans flag clipped to someone's shirt saying
Image: Photo by Inti Tupac Liberman

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) has issued a response to the Cass Review into Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People. The nearly 400-page report published on April 10 states that the NHS has failed thousands of transgender youth and it includes 32 recommendations advocating for more research, holistic care and age-specific services.

In its statement in response to the Cass Review, TENI said that it remains “fully committed to ensuring that transgender & non-binary young people have access to the correct and highest quality care here in Ireland, in line with international standards of medical care and the policy of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is vital that this model should be developed in conjunction with trans young people and their families and delivered in partnership with them. Trans young people and their families do not have access to any form of gender-related care in Ireland.”

The statement further read: “While we will be taking more time to comprehensively read the full report, we agree with the findings in the report that a single centralised national service is not an effective method of delivering gender affirming care, and that care delivered closer to families’ homes, within a regional model, is a more effective structure for the delivery of care.

“It is important to highlight, as included within the Cass Review, it is evident that transgender youth encounter substantial mental health challenges, and refraining from offering support is not a neutral stance. This echoes our ongoing concerns regarding the lack of an effective model and pathway to care for trans young people here in Ireland.”

TENI added, “We remain concerned by the prevailing narrative in the UK, which often expresses scepticism and hostility towards granting medical professionals the authority to prescribe puberty blockers to young individuals, despite evidence suggesting their potential for positive health outcomes.

“This sceptical narrative within the report ignores the wealth of research, from over a dozen studies of at least 30,000 trans and non-binary young people, that gender affirming healthcare is both safe and effective at improving their mental health and wellbeing.”

While the Cass Review demands that trans youth and their families are “treated with compassion and respect”, many trans activists have raised concerns that this report will be used to create additional barriers for trans youth trying to access healthcare.

Some right-wing groups and clinicians who deny the existence of trans children have used portions of the report to justify their anti-trans agendas and ideologies. Amnesty International UK and Liberty said: “This review is being weaponised by people who revel in spreading disinformation and myths about healthcare for trans young people.”



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An opinion piece in The Guardian urges the public to consider the context of this study being released in such a transphobic climate, sharing: “If the Cass review was held under a black light, we would see the fingerprints of anti-trans ideology. I don’t believe Cass shares this way of thinking, I think she believes in evidence-based healthcare and that trans children exist. However, allowing her review to be so heavily influenced by bias is a critical failure that is hers to own.”

Additionally, Mermaids, an organisation that focuses on offering support to trans+ youth and their families in the UK, said: “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.”



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Belong To, Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ youth service, stated that it firmly believes that Ireland has an opportunity to learn from the UK and the Cass Review and create a safe and effective model of healthcare for trans youth.

Its team plans to conduct an analysis of the Cass Review and use its findings to continue to advocate for access to vital care, supports, and information for transgender youth and their families in Ireland.

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