THE Scottish Conservatives are calling for a Tavistock-style probe into the Sandyford gender identity clinic in Glasgow.

The Gender Identity Development Service based at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust in London is being closed and replaced by regional hubs after an interim report by paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass stated that a “single national provider” was not sustainable in the long-term.

It highlighted the rapid increase in the number of children being referred to the service, “a lack of consensus” about the nature of gender dysphoria and the “appropriate clinical response” to it.

Later this month, former BBC journalist Hannah Barnes will publish a book entitled Time To Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Tavistock’s Gender Service for Children.

In the book some former Tavistock staff are critical of the service and express regret at routinely referring under-16s for puberty-blocking and cross-hormone treatment.

In 2021, Chief Medical Officer Gregor Smith requested a review into Scotland’s own gender reassignment protocol to ensure it was in line with international best practice.

READ MORE: Glasgow's Sandyford gender identity clinic closed to new patients

The subsequent Scottish Pathway for Trans Healthcare (SPATH) report recommended considering advice from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) on children and young people.

Both WPATH and international medical organisation the Endocrine Society recommend gender-affirming medical interventions for adolescents, including puberty-blockers and hormones.

In December 2021, the Scottish Government also published the NHS gender identity services: strategic action framework.

The framework described how the Scottish Government would fund work to improve access to and delivery of these services and support additional research on long term health outcomes for those accessing gender identity healthcare.

However, last year SNP MP Joanna Cherry called for the Sandyford Young Person’s Gender Service in Glasgow to be closed and replaced by “local services” in a similar manner to Tavistock.

Now, according to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the Sandyford gender clinic for young people has been closed to new patients due to pressure on the service and potential for budget cuts.

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The Scottish Conservatives say they want a “similar probe” into Sandyford as has been undertaken at Tavistock.

Scottish Conservative shadow equalities spokesperson Rachael Hamilton said: “The welfare and safety of our young people is absolutely paramount and the Cass review into gender identity services has been very welcome south of the border.

“The right balance must be struck between young people experiencing gender dysphoria and those who need support for other undiagnosed conditions, such as autism or mental health.

 “In the case of the Tavistock clinic, vulnerable young people were not supported before they made life changing decisions.

 She added: “In light of this damning evidence, the Tavistock has now been ordered to shut down, and SNP ministers cannot ignore similar issues in relation to gender identity clinics in Scotland.

 “That is why a similar probe should be ordered by the SNP government to investigate what has happened and is continuing to take place at the Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow. There cannot be an attitude of pretending these issues do not exist in Scotland and kicking them into the long grass.

  “We have a duty to protect the psychological wellbeing of our young people and an investigation into gender identity services in Scotland can only help improve that.”

However, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde told The National that is does not offer gender identity services in the same way as the Tavistock clinic.

A spokesperson said: “The Sandyford Clinic offers a range of gender services in line with Scottish Government and international frameworks.

“The clinic does not deliver gender identity services for young people in the same way as services delivered at the Tavistock clinic and it would be wrong to characterise our services in any other way.

“These differences have been confirmed through discussions held between Scottish Government, clinicians at NHSGGC and members of the Cass Review team familiar with NHS England services.

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“Anyone who seeks to engage with Sandyford’s Gender Service must undergo a full assessment from a multi-disciplinary team.

“This process, which includes a number of appointments with healthcare professionals is in place to ensure patients are able to make fully informed choices as there can be a great deal of uncertainty to manage throughout this process and it is extremely important the patient is aware of all implications.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “NHS Scotland gender identity healthcare for young people is not delivered in the same way as services delivered by NHS Tavistock and Portman in NHS England.

“These differences have been confirmed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and through discussion with members of the Cass Review team familiar with NHS England services.”