Dr Hilary Cass says abuse over transgender review left her unable to travel on public transport

Retired consultant paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Retired consultant paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Dr Hilary Cass has avoided public transport due to abuse following her landmark review into the treatment of transgender children was published last week, she has said.

The paediatrician's study found the NHS had used unproven treatments such as puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on vulnerable children despite “remarkably weak evidence” of their effectiveness.

The report found doctors were “afraid” to discuss their views on treatment because of the “toxicity” of the debate around gender.

While she received praise from some for the review, she has described receiving attacks from some about the report.

One of these came from Labour MP Dawn Butler who said the 388 page report did not contain 100 transgender studies.

Dr Cass told The Times: “I have been really frustrated by the criticisms, because it is straight disinformation. It is completely inaccurate.

“It started the day before the report came out when an influencer posted a picture of a list of papers that were apparently rejected because they were not randomised control trials.

“That list has absolutely nothing to do with either our report or any of the papers.”

She added: “If you deliberately try to undermine a report that has looked at the evidence of children's healthcare, then that's unforgivable. You are putting children at risk by doing that.”

The review contains 32 recommendations for overhauling NHS services, including strengthening research and commissioning a separate service for people who wish to “detransition”, referring to the process where someone discontinues or reverses a medical gender transition.

Young people referred for gender treatment on the NHS should also be given screening for neurodevelopment conditions such as autism and a full mental health assessment, Dr Cass wrote.

Dr Cass said she had been sent some “pretty vile emails” and had not been on Twitter.

“What dismays me is just how childish the debate can become,” she said.

“If I don’t agree with somebody then I’m called transphobic or a Terf [trans-exclusionary radical feminist].”

She added: “I’m not going on public transport at the moment, following security advice, which is inconvenient.