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Wings Over Scotland

To Ministers of the Scottish Government

Posted on May 02, 2022 by

To: Humza Yousaf (Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care), Shirley-Anne Somerville (Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills) and Clare Haughey (Minister for Children and Young People)

28 April 2022

Dear Mr Yousaf, Ms Somerville and Ms Haughey,

Cass Interim Report: Independent review of gender identity services for children and young people – Implications for Scotland

As you will be aware, the Westminster Health Secretary has announced an urgent inquiry into gender hormone treatment for vulnerable children, stating that the system is “failing children”(1). Mr Javid was particularly alarmed at the pressures on staff to adopt an unquestioning affirmative approach to transitioning and is planning an overhaul of how health service staff deal with under-18s who present with gender distress.

We welcome this intervention as the responsible course of action following a series of legal actions by whistleblowers (2) and a NICE report (3) highlighting serious concerns with the low quality of evidence for both GnRH agonists (puberty blockers) and cross-sex hormones. The recently published interim report (4) by Dr Hilary Cass, who was commissioned by NHS England to investigate child gender services, was damning, finding the Tavistock children’s clinic not a safe or viable long-term option for children.

The politicising of a childhood condition and treatment based on ideology rather than facts and evidence has led to numerous children being harmed irreversibly by the medical profession.

It would be foolish to think this situation is confined to England. Many countries, including Scotland, follow the same treatment protocol for gender-distressed children, although after recent reviews some, including Sweden (5), Finland (6) and France (7), have now severely restricted use of medical treatments in preference for psychotherapy.

The Care Quality Commission deemed Tavistock, the London gender clinic for children, “inadequate” and critcised it for deficient record keeping (8), but at least it held information on the ratio of male to female patients, the number and age of those prescribed puberty blockers, and noted the disproportionately high rates of patients with autistic traits.

The counterpart clinic Sandyford in Glasgow can give no such information (9), in fact it is unable to  even ascertain if it is following the pattern of a reversal in mainly male patients to a 75% female one, for the simple reason that it permits children to choose, or omit, the sex recorded on their medical files. (10)

NHS Scotland also had to correct a Freedom of Information release and eventually disclose that 51 girls had been referred for elective double mastectomies. (11) Both clinics have failed to conduct longitudinal studies or provide care for detransitioners who were mis-diagnosed, many of whom will attest to being fast-tracked into hormone treatment and surgery when good mental health care was more appropriate to address underlying issues.

Our recent Freedom of Information response shows a rapidly increasing and disproportionate number of gender-distressed children in Scotland – the referral rates have grown fifteen-fold in six years (12) and 1,254 children are either receiving treatment or are awaiting a first appointment (13) – almost twice the expected number given the relative population size with England, which has a comparable figure of 7,100. (14)

A crisis point has surely been reached when concerned GPs, unable to get answers to straightforward questions from their health board or NHS Scotland, feel they have to write to a national newspaper outlining their worries that referring children to a gender clinic will actually harm, rather than help them (15). The political climate in Scotland is such that doctors who follow best therapeutic evidence rather than affirmation of a trans identity and medical treatment risk litigation for “transphobia”.

In January 2021 the then Cabinet Secretary for Health said “We do not look to duplicate the work of the [Cass] review in Scotland and will closely consider the findings of the review when they become available” (16). Having chosen not to undertake the necessary and fundamental work to analyse the evidence and determine the best treatments, it is wholly incumbent on the Scottish Government to take heed of the outcomes and advice of those who have.

However, the Government has instead forged ahead with a £2 million allocation of funds this year, primarily aimed at addressing waiting times (17) and an update to the Gender Reassignment Protocol (GRP) is also underway (18).

In our view, both these projects must be halted and reassessed in light of the interim Cass report. The GRP update is looking to follow the new WPATH guidelines (19) which are not based on evidence, follow an affirmation-only model and now also seem to incorporate eunuch as a gender identity (20) – something we hope the Scottish Government does not wish to introduce into our schools.

There is little point cutting waiting lists to allow quicker access to a service which has been found to be clinically flawed and harmful to children. It would be irresponsible and negligent of the Scottish Government to continue down this path. Dr Cass concludes that “A fundamentally different service model is needed which is more in line with other paediatric provision”.

Of course, the pathway for children confused about gender is set long before they reach Sandyford’s door, in a large part due to the Scottish Government’s irresponsible policies in schools which advocate affirmation-only (21).

Political lobbying groups such as LGBT Youth are introducing material telling young children they can change sex, and this is reinforced by teachers who have received training from the same groups – none of which have medical or educational expertise.

Pupils who are confused about gender are receiving the message that there is something wrong with their body that needs to be fixed and teachers are unquestioningly “socially transitioning” pupils, often changing names and pronouns behind their parents backs. As Dr Cass states, these are not neutral interventions, and are being done without medical oversight and are incredibly damaging to our young people.

It is imperative that political impartiality should be reinstated in schools and lobbying groups not permitted to continue introducing unscientific beliefs to children, especially organisations that have already been found by Scottish Ministers to have introduced school guidance which was “not legal” (22).

It would be helpful if the Government would issue a message similar to that by the Department of Education which states harmful stereotypes should not be reinforced and no inferences should be drawn about a gender identity from a child’s personality or preference for certain clothes or activities, and nor should schools work with external groups that produce such material (23).

We hope you agree that there is ample evidence in the interim report that is alarming and needs immediate attention, and appreciate the implications for the upcoming plans to legislate for banning conversion therapy and to make Gender Recognition Certificates (GRC) available for under-18s.

The joint submission from Stonewall and others (24) is of the opinion that therapy for gender-distressed children should be focussed on understanding and learning to accept their stated gender identity – otherwise it will be captured as conversion therapy.

This is contrary to evidenced therapeutic practice and Cass points out there are many causes of a child’s distress and many pathways to a number of outcomes, only one of which will be an adult trans identity. Counsellors and therapists should be able to fully explore issues and help a child feel comfortable with their body, without any pressure of possible criminalisation.

Even now concerns have been raised about the chilling effect of the Memorandum of Understanding (25) and the likelihood of therapeutic outcomes being compromised by early state affirmation by way of a GRC (26), on what may turn out to be a transient trans identity.

We would welcome a meeting for further discussion and look forward to hearing what steps will be implemented to urgently address the issues raised.

Yours sincerely,

Trina Budge, Marion Calder and Susan Smith
Directors, For Women Scotland

cc: Dr Sandesh Gulhane, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care
Oliver Mundell, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills
Meghan Gallacher, Shadow Minister for Children and Young People
Jackie Baillie, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health
Michael Marra, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health
Martin Whitfield, Shadow Minister for Children and Young People
Jane Grant, CEO, Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS
Gregor Smith, Chief Medical Officer
Bruce Adamson, Children’s and Young People’s Commissioner, Scotland


    Interim report: PDF
  10. FOI follow-up question:
    and answer:
  12. FOI showing 37 referrals in 2013:
    NGICNS document showing 559 referrals in 2019 (para12, page 27):
  13. FOI showing 1,253 at Sandyford:
    plus 1-4 17 year olds on adult waiting list in Inverness:
    Strategic action framework: PDF
    Supporting Transgender Pupils: PDF
  26. Archived:
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    34 to “To Ministers of the Scottish Government”

    1. William Russell says:

      I engaged recently with all my MSPs regarding the homophobic GRA(Scotland) bill. For or against, they all responded except the SNP/Green MSPs. From the governing MSPs there was complete silence on this matter, not even an acknowledgement the correspondence was received.
      The LibDem was for it.
      The Lab MSPs tried to present as considering options, but the language used was that of a gender convert.
      The Tories were set against it.

      My politics have always been simple. I’m an anti-tory indy supporter. Yet my vote(s) are now only for those standing up for homosexual rights and the rights of women. It breaks my heart that the only political party protecting those rights are Tories.

    2. Effigy says:

      Now we wait for a response to see if they are capable of understanding or listening.

      Sturgeon on breakfast TV earlier ITV.

      Just caught the end but disappointed at half cocked answers.

      Asked about a poll up here saying enough wasn’t being done to help with excessive rises
      in the cost of living, she replied who we continue with the £20 per week benefit to the poorest unlike England.

      Why didn’t she add in our payment of the Westminster Bedroom Tax that mainly attacks the disabled?

      Why didn’t she add in the greater number of Free Nursery Hours to help these families?

      Didn’t mention the latest Tory Westminster Tax the increased National Insurance rates?

      If you don’t attack open goals when presented you can forget about winning anything!

    3. Elizabeth Hagan says:

      Superb letter, needed to safeguard our young people but will the SNP listen to it? Their track record on taking & acting on expert evidence & guidance is woefully abysmal.

    4. Mark Boyle says:

      An excellent letter by Trina Budge, Marion Calder and Susan Smith – but I except already the preparations are underway to have them burned for Thought Witchcraft – along with their pardon in 500 years time by that SNP administration also promising Indyref2 “next year” …

    5. Mark Boyle says:

      expect (I hate this keyboard!)

    6. Jim Bo says:

      An excellent letter which needs to be shared far and wide.
      Thanks and best of luck For Women Scotland.

    7. Ruby says:

      I have no more words for this barbaric practice!

      What do they do with the healthy breasts they remove – make lampshades?

    8. Marie Clark says:

      A truly excellent letter and a real breath of fresh air. The real question is will the Scottish government listen. I fear the answer to that will be no. If it’s not Sturgeon idea, then tough the old deaf ear gets applied.

      Good luck to all the Women for Scotland, you’re doing a grand job.

    9. John Main says:

      Thank you for publishing this.

      These are brave women, whistle blowing about the state-sanctioned, institutionalised, abuse of vulnerable children.

      History will not be kind to those who look the other way and pretend that this is anything else.

    10. Dorothy Devine says:

      Most excellent but will any heed be paid?

      When we have Scottish universities supporting the nonsense projected I can see that will be route taken by the Stonewall National Party and their Friends of the Earth.

      And let’s remember the police force and judiciary have also bowed to it.

      Child protection where art thou?

      Sensible politicians , how quiet thou art – obviously you don’t care about losing your seats.

    11. Ruby says:

      Jim Bo says:
      2 May, 2022 at 8:41 am

      An excellent letter which needs to be shared far and wide.
      Thanks and best of luck For Women Scotland.

      Any idea how you would go about sharing that letter far & wide? Any bets that this thread will turn into a pissing contest about the ‘Ukraine War’ before lunchtime?

    12. Neil Burke says:

      Are there references for in-text citation points 24 & 25?

    13. Dave M says:

      Of course, the feeble three to whom FWS has written won’t change a thing. I’d love to see the spokespeople from the other parties raise the issue in Parliament, but they probably won’t.

      I’m disappointed that the letter does not raise the significant safeguarding issues presented by the ‘social transition’ of children in secret by schools, nor explain how affirmative psychotherapy is a form of unethical therapeutic practice.

      However, the letter overall is very welcome in the Scottish context and it ought to focus the minds of voters who may be considering voting SNP/Green on Thursday. Those parties are very much a clear and present danger with regard to child and vulnerable adult safeguarding, women’s rights, and LGB equality.

    14. Cuilean says:

      Since 1979, when I was 18 years old, I have voted SNP. This means I supported the SNP for 43 years.

      Since the Sturgeon/Murrell cabal captured the party, I am today weighing up how far down my list of voting preferences, I will place the SNP, in the council elections, on 5th May 2022.

    15. Grouser says:

      I am a retired teacher. I am glad I have retired as I could not do the things teachers are being required to do today.
      Education is about trying to open children and young adults up to examining all sides of an argument, based on evidence and common sense. If teachers are not allowed to help pupils to examine what they think by presenting other possibilities for discussion then that is failing the pupil at best and indoctrination at worst.
      The Scottish Government is in thrall to organisations like Stonewall and is wilfully ignoring evidence that points to Stonewall being controlled by extremists and narcissists.
      The FM et al must be aware of the evidence and lack of evidence surrounding this issue. However, a relatively small group of recent adherents to the SNP have got the Scottish Government caught in their headlights. The FM has no control over the situation now.
      I was called a ‘terf’ by a young woman as we were having what I thought was a civilised conversation on the trans issue. I had to ask her what a ‘terf’ was and was told using some very choice language. How can anyone discuss anything if one side of the argument is not allowed to be stated and other side cannot be questioned?
      This whole issue needs to be questioned, evidence gathered and looked at before a significant number of young people are damaged permanently.

    16. Robert Hughes says:

      Excellent and completely necessary letter : relevant timing too .

      People about to vote have an absolute right to know what the people/Party they’re voting for standing for ; though , as others say above , the chances of getting a straight answer to these questions are remote . The same remoteness from * ordinary * people’s concerns that characterises this increasingly bizarre Administration

    17. The Isolator says:


      Aye me too.Last year I lent them my vote as per Alba but no more until they are gone.At the up and coming councils I’m stuck between spoiling my ballot (no Alba) or simply ranking Tories 8 SNP 6 & 7 and leaving the rest blank as I cannot vote for any of the Scottish unionist tribute acts.Joanna Cherry is my MP and my MSP is Gordon MacDonald (hmmm).

    18. sarah says:

      Thank goodness – such a clear exposition of the problems and also of the solution.

      From the local council campaigning I think that the word is being spread about the harm to children. The Conservatives include the subject in their manifesto as does Alba.

      The two SNP candidates in my ward have both received letters from voters – one candidate, a retired doctor, says that only medically AND surgically transitioned people should be allowed to use their new persona’s facilities. The other follows the Maree Todd line of “other countries have self-id and there have been no problems”!!! So I am now considering giving the former a vote, though not number one.

      Back to the point – will this letter make a difference? As the voters are now being better informed I think the SNP will be forced to back away and their own parliamentary doubters and members will feel able to speak out.

    19. Dan says:

      That’s a braw letter raising awareness of this matter, and in doing so it applies further pressure onto those that intend to implement it.
      Add in the Ferries fiasco, and the election this week, “the more fronts they are fighting on the better” someone once said…

      There’s naebody in my Ward worth voting for, 🙁
      But as I understand it, this election is the first in a move to the new automated counting machines instead of using people, so wonder what the best way is to ensure I effectively spoil my ballot so it can’t be counted as a vote for any party by some opportunistic software coding tweak.

    20. Mark Boyle says:

      Ruby says: 2 May, 2022 at 9:03 am

      Any idea how you would go about sharing that letter far & wide? Any bets that this thread will turn into a pissing contest about the ‘Ukraine War’ before lunchtime?

      If you have email, you can copy and paste the contents and pass it to people who know you well enough that you can be confident they will read it – they will then do so in turn.

      If you have a printer, you can print the fker out. Highlight the key points in bold, but be concise.

      Shove it through the doors of your neighbours. Or be really weird and walk around the shops looking for shop staff standing behind counters looking bored and wanting something to pass some time (bored people will read ANYTHING). Don’t bother handing out copies in the middle of the street – people never, ever read those.

      Whatever it takes.

      The limit as to how to get the message out is only as far as your imagination and bottle.

    21. stonefree says:

      @ Cuilean at 9:29 am
      @ The Isolator at 10:09 am

      I don’t know your location
      But is there an ISP candidate?

    22. Breeks says:

      Here’s Scotland’s classy First Minister crashing (another) Party, this time in a see-you-Jimmy hat. Anything goes for a photo-op it seems. She’s obviously going for the Geordie vote.

      I’m curious. Does Big Brother count “Hen Parties” as female only spaces, which self-ID Trans weirdos and pervs will be able to gatecrash in future, and have anybody who objects to their unwelcome presence or their drunkenly throwing their what-the-fuck-is-that “tackle” around, arrested for Hate-crime?

      Hey, just askin’… It’s still legal the the moment. Unfortunately there isn’t a ban on see-you-Jimmy cringe hats yet, but we live in hope…

    23. stonefree says:

      @ sarah at 10:11 am

      What I find is the Labour and SNP have done a deal, in part keeping quite about SNP agenda ie Wheesht
      It is nigh on impossible to question SNP policy in a meeting,
      When there is Baronness Clark,Ruth McGuire, two other party donuts and Jamie Greene,
      Just how dire is it when Greene makes some semblance of sense.That is today’s standard for Scotland, just how much lowercan it fall
      Note that as far as I know the Baronness still stays in London.
      As for Sturgeon’s potential assaults on children , two on Saturday couldn’t look at me, and said it wasn’t true. ergo I’m a liar
      Me I’m standing in an effort to stop Sturgeon’s perversion

      All they needed was the fingers in the ears

    24. stonefree says:

      @ Breeks at 3:34 pm

      I am that Italian Football player Damn’d Ifiknow

    25. Nally Anders says:

      Sturgeon refuses to listen to anyone but Stonewall. Trouble is there is a fine line between being pigheaded and criminal.
      The court cases will inevitably roll in and Scot Gov can’t say they weren’t warned.
      Transitioning is for adults only says transmen Scott Newgent who’s been through medical hell.

    26. Ruby says:

      Mark Boyle says:
      The limit as to how to get the message out is only as far as your imagination and bottle.

      You forgot to the mention money. The SNP have delivered three items to me toda a letter, a leaflet and one hooked over my door handle (a do not disturb type notice) This daft notice will let burglars know if people are on holiday. Another crazy SNP idea.

      One good thing about is you can always write

      on it and hook it somewhere else.

      SNP Greens highly recommend recycling

    27. Skip_NC says:

      Dan @ 10:27am, if the machines are anything like we use here in Wake County, North Carolina, there is little opportunity to record a protest vote. The machines have their parameters as to what is accepted as a valid vote. If there is anything outside those parameters, the ballot paper is routed to a separate bin within the machine. At the end of polling, those are taken out and hand-counted. Because there are about thirty separate races in elections here, that process can take a week of very long days for the Elections Board members and staff.

      The only way to record a protest vote here is to try and run a coordinated campaign for a write-in candidate. That candidate may be Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck or it may be a real person who cannot afford the filing fees but who opposes the sole candidate on the ballot, which happens rather too often here. This is most effective at local level. It takes only five votes for a write-in to be tabulated separately and a strong campaign can get a percentage of votes that is worth noting in news articles for political anoraks.

      So, if you have no write-in options, and if Scotland uses the same technology as we do over here, your opportunity for sending a message via a spoilt paper will be limited. Any marks within the designated area that the scanner looks at may be counted, even if that is not your intention, so be careful how you mark the ballot paper. We have a pretty robust audit system here, but it would have to be very clearly wrong for the Board to overturn a mark in the box that the machine had counted. It is far more likely that the Board will allow ballots that the machine had rejected.

      Board meetings here are live-streamed so anyone interested can get a sense of what is being rejected and what is accepted.

    28. twathater says:

      First may I thank FWS and these women on behalf of my wife , daughter and granddaughter for fighting this regressive and deeply disturbing assault on REAL women by a coven of deplorables

      It is truly unbelievable that ordinary citizens are having to beg and raise funds to FIGHT their own government in the courts against a deeply divisive and illegal legislation that is massively opposed by people who understand the ramifications of it , the CONTINUED suppression and avoidance of the MSM , Broadcasters and politicians in publicly announcing and revealing their true intentions and the severe impact it will have on the security and safety of our REAL FEMALES is reprehensible and UNFORGIVABLE

      Investigative journalists and reporters like to PROMOTE themselves as PROTECTORS OF THE MASSES, the bulwark to hold government to account, to ensure government is kept honest

      In this and many other situations they are Trai tors to their profession , it has FELL UPON a few honest and brave women with integrity and perseverence to EXPOSE and ATTEMPT to hold back a rabid , deaf, uncompromising group of individuals intent on FORCING deviant and perverted policies through to accommodate a miniscule proportion of the population whilst threats to 50%+ of the population are ignored and treated with contempt

    29. The Isolator says:

      @ Stonefree

      Unfortunately no ISP either.I’m in a bit of Tory stronghold with 2 Tories sitting in council from our ward. Marco Biagi is standing for the SNP so I’m going to rank him 6 and the Tory Jason Rust last.Not even Hobson’s choice for goodness sake.

    30. Saffron Robe says:

      Excellent letter, very well researched and articulated. Unfortunately it is likely to fall on stony ground.

      The following link with similar findings from the US may be of interest:

    31. Tom Kane says:

      Superb letter.

      Just for its humanity towards children, and the promise that society wants to care for them educationally, medically and scientifically.

      Thanks to all at For Women Scotland.


    32. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Are there references for in-text citation points 24 & 25?”

      They fell off the document I got from FWS, we’ve tracked them down and put them back.

    33. Lorna Campbell says:

      They should be hanging their stupid heads in shame for doing this to innocent children. They have become loathsome.

    34. Ruby says:



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