Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
by Louise Wilson
17 April 2024
Jenni Minto: Not ‘appropriate’ to respond quickly to gender review

Public health minister Jenni Minto has responsibility for children's health | Alamy

Jenni Minto: Not ‘appropriate’ to respond quickly to gender review

The Scottish Government has refused to respond to the recommendations of the Cass review, with public health minister Jenni Minto saying it would be inappropriate to respond too quickly.

An initial response from the Scottish Government will be provided “as soon as possible,” Minto added, but no timeframe was given for when that might be.

The Cass review, which reviewed gender identity services for children and young people in England, was published last week and included wide-ranging recommendations on the general treatment of gender-questioning children.

Questions have been raised about whether the recommendations would be applied to Scotland, where the same model of care is used.

Asked about the provision of care for children with gender dysphoria at health portfolio questions on Wednesday afternoon, Minto said the government was working with providers of the service and NHS National Services Scotland on ensuring the best possible specialist care.

On the Cass review, she added: “The findings of this review into services in NHS England are being closely considered by Scottish Government and wider partners.”

Scottish Labour’s Carol Mochan urged the Scottish Government to make a statement in parliament to allow MSPs to discuss the matter further.

She said: “Ultimately, the Scottish people expect the government to step up and make a decision on whether or not to implement evidenced-based recommendations to protect Scottish children – and if not, why not?”

Minto replied: “I don’t think it’s appropriate to respond quickly. I think we have to do that in the appropriate time so we understand exactly what the implications are of the Cass review to gender identity services within Scotland. I want to make sure we put the children, their families and clinicians at the centre of this work.”

Scottish Tory deputy leader Meghan Gallacher has urged the government to accept the recommendations set out by Cass.

In particular she called for the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to be limited after the review found little evidence supporting their use.

Minto said: “The Scottish Government, our officials and our senior clinicians are all looking at what the report contains and we will be giving an initial review on that as soon as possible.”

Gallacher yesterday attempted to force a statement from a Scottish minister on the review but was voted down. Attempts to lodge topical and urgent questions on the matter were also refused.

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Louise Wilson - Patrick Harvie: Douglas Ross ‘playing shallow politics’ over Michael Matheson row.



Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top