NHS rows back on ‘gender identity’ question for ten-year-olds

A question asking children whether they feel comfortable in their gender will be removed from a primary school survey, after a U-turn by the NHS.

Yesterday, it emerged that a survey sent by the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust asked Year Six pupils: “Do you feel the same inside as the gender you were born with?”

The question provoked an outcry from parents and MPs who described it as “deeply worrying” and “intrusive”.

‘Targeted approach’

Today, The Daily Telegraph reports that the NHS will no longer ask the question widely.

A spokesman for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We recognise that these are important issues and the need for sensitivity and an appropriate approach, particularly with very young children.

“As such we will be adopting a more targeted approach to this in the future rather than asking this question universally of all children.”

The Data Protection Act requires explicit consent for sensitive data to be captured.

Welcome step

Lyndsey Simpson, whose ten-year-old daughter received the survey, was outraged when she learned of its content.

Speaking to the Telegraph at the weekend, she said: “I don’t want someone putting into my daughter’s head that she might not be happy with her own gender”.

Today, she welcomed the NHS’s decision not to ask the question universally, but called on them to go further.

LGBT input

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust also revealed that the ‘gender identity’ question was introduced following consultation with lobby group Lancashire LGBT.

The lottery-funded group offers training to GPs and seeks to integrate LGBT issues into the school curriculum.

Ciarán Kelly, a Deputy Director at The Christian Institute said: “Asking ten-year-olds about their gender identity is seriously misguided so this change of heart is welcome.

“The NHS’s mistake was to take advice from people pushing this damaging trans agenda in the first place.”

‘Intrusive’

Yesterday, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP called the gender question “quite intrusive”, adding, “these are private matters in a family.

“The problem with this approach is not just with the question but with the intrusive survey that invades people’s privacy and assumes the state has a role in a matter that actually belongs within the family.”

Tim Loughton MP, a former Children’s Minister, added, “forcing children to question whether they are the right gender so early on can be deeply destabilising”.

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