20 May 2024

Following the publication of the Cass Review in April, the RCSLT welcome the inclusion of speech and language therapists as a key part of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) workforce needed to deliver the new gender identity services across England for children and young people.  

The report acknowledges the well-recognised contributions of paediatric and mental health professionals working in this area, and highlights that the crucial role played by allied health professionals has so far been under recognised. Speech and language therapists are of paramount importance given that many of those accessing gender identity services are neurodiverse or have communication needs. Additionally, some young individuals may require specialist voice interventions. The report emphasises the necessity of screening for such needs to ensure accessibility of both written and verbal information for obtaining consent.  

We know that the skills of speech and language therapists across varying fields of practice are relevant to this work and will make a positive difference to the care of these children and young people and their families.