Press Releases and Statements

Press release: The Cass Review is bad science and should not be taken seriously by policymakers

TransActual are today publishing an analysis of the flaws in the Cass Report’s approach and conclusions.

The Cass Report is fatally flawed in its methodology, and as a result, its recommendations are harmful. Speaking on behalf of TransActual, Keyne Walker said: “It undermines the legal competence of both children and adults to access medical treatment and dismisses almost all existing clinical evidence on trans people’s healthcare by applying impossible evidence standards which, if applied to other medicines would invalidate more than three quarters of the existing treatments used in paediatric care which, like puberty blockers, are currently being prescribed off-label.” [1] [2]

The report also strays far beyond its scope and competence in recommending a review of adult services and in suggesting that young people ought to stay under the care of children and young people’s services until the age of 25. The latter is based on highly questionable understandings of brain development which have been repeatedly debunked as an oversimplification of the constant changes in human neurology over the course of our lives.  This recommendation, especially in a context of an already broken system of care for both adults and children, has the potential to have a significant negative impact on the lives and wellbeing of trans people in the UK. 

Underpinning this report is the idea that being trans is an undesirable outcome rather than a natural facet of human diversity. This is clear not only from the recommendations but also from the exclusion of trans researchers from the design of the review process and the links individual members of the research team have to anti-trans groups, which the Cass team were warned about.[3]

Keyne Walker, Strategy Director said: “The report’s lip service to better offers of care are merely dressing over both incredibly harmful recommendations and an invalid methodology which are not suitable to be the basis of policymaking.”

“Trans people must have timely access to high quality care, but we do not agree that ‘exploratory’ therapy, widely considered tantamount to conversion practices, aimed at discouraging trans people from exercising their freedom to transition constitutes that.”

“The ongoing political effort to normalise conversion therapy practices as part of trans healthcare will only serve to drive more trans people to take their treatment into their own hands. Efforts must be made to ensure that those who do so are not penalised when later accessing healthcare, and that they can access testing that will reduce the potential for harms arising from this. Those in Scotland and Ireland can access support from Trans Harm Reduction at:

TransActual call on the LGBT+ sector, academics and trans allies everywhere to denounce this report, its recommendations, and the clear anti-trans bias in its methodology, joining those speaking out from Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA) and the Feminist Gender Equality Network (FGEN).  

Download the full briefing

Further information:

Contact jane fae on 07780 994646 or email

In view of subsequent developments, this release was updated on 20th April 2024.


[2] For more information on the role of off-licence treatments in paediatric care, visit: 


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