Vermicious GNIDS — and the Cass Review
This last week has not been a good one for the UK trans community. The Cass Review, supposedly independent inquiry designed to look into the good and bad of healthcare for trans youth, appears to have proposed a legislative assault that would strip trans people of established rights to privacy. In this, they appear well and truly in the pockets of one of the most transphobic Health Secretaries this country has yet seen.
At the same time, it is all getting rather complicated. So here is a quick summary of where we are and how we got here.
Need for data
It begins with the first Keira Bell court case. Judges in that hearing were shocked to learn that GIDS, the body that provides care for trans youth, did not have decent data on treatments administered and outcomes from same. I say “begins”. This lack has long been a thing that the wider trans community has condemned. But as with so much else, no-one takes any notice until a cis person cisplains it.
Decent data collection on the treatment of trans kids; follow-up; outcomes; and all of this held in a single point of access database is broadly a good idea. Though all that must be caveated with the usual: respect for wishes, consent, privacy, etc.
Meanwhile, the Cass Review set off, approx. a year ago to review treatment for trans kids. Kids at GIDS — as it really should have been called! Cass was due to publish its report in March of this year. This would have been without access to the sort of data set outlined above and, given timescales envisaged, one must presume it accepted this as an unfortunate but necessary corollary to getting their report done in a timely manner.
Then, at some point in the last few months, the “need” for this Treatments and Outcomes database started to manifest. The TAO-base! An apt enough name, in the sense that the TAO would promote individual wisdom on these issues.
Except there are huge problems. First and most obvious to anyone with a data analysis background is the pre-existing base data. This, according to other official reviews (including the CQC, which reported in 2021) was basically —…