Scottish watchdog: ‘Kids as young as 12 can undergo trans-affirming procedures’

Scotland’s social care watchdog has come under fire for pushing gender-confused kids as young as 12 down the path of ‘sex-swap’ procedures.

The Care Inspectorate’s transgender guidance for children and young people’s services, which claims to be based on “current best practice guidance”, was developed in consultation with activist group LGBT Youth Scotland.

The guidelines push staff to refer children to Sandyford Young People’s Clinic, which has long been accused of steering gender-confused children towards medical and surgical transition, rather than attempting to address any psychological issues which may be present. This is the same discredited model used by NHS England’s Tavistock gender clinic, which is scheduled to close.

‘Dangerous ideology’

The guidance attempts to silence staff from upholding a young person’s biological sex or telling them they are gender-confused. In addition, it instructs staff to use a young person’s ‘preferred pronouns’ and allow them to share bedrooms with those who “share their gender identity”, pending a risk assessment.

But Trina Budge, Director of campaign group For Women Scotland, criticised the Care Inspectorate for “putting the most marginalised group in society, cared-for children, at risk.”

She accused it of offering guidance that  “draws on no clinical expertise” .

“Rather than listening to a lobby group with a dangerous ideology, they should have read the interim Cass Review.”

‘Ignoring evidence’

Last year, the interim Cass Review on clinical practice at NHS England’s Tavistock gender clinic warned of the risks of encouraging “social transition” and the possible long-term effects of puberty blockers.

But a spokesman for the Care Inspectorate claimed that it had not even considered the interim Cass Review’s findings, as it focused on “NHS gender identity healthcare for young people in England” rather than Scotland.

Dr David Bell, a former staff governor at the Tavistock said: “There is now considerable evidence that just affirming children is harmful and this guidance seems to just ignore all the emerging medical evidence.

“Children with a conflict about gender and sexual identity need to be treated with thought and understanding. Many of these children will have a history of abuse, trauma, depression and major family issues. Just referring to them as trans and sending them off down a medical pathway risks causing them more harm.”


Last month, the Tavistock clinic was threatened with court action over ‘missing’ emails to the trans activist group Mermaids.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said the Tavistock clinic needs to look again, after it refused to release then denied holding email correspondence with Mermaids under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Mermaids’ ‘governance and management’ is currently under investigation by the Charity Commission, after revelations the group had been sending chest binders to girls as young as 13 without their parents’ knowledge.

Also see:

Boy sitting

Detransitioner: ‘I had my breasts removed at 13-years-old’

‘Whitewash’: former children’s minister blasts Irish gender service investigation

Health Secretary urges watchdog not to ‘scrub language of biological sex’

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