Sunak elevates Jewish doctor Hilary Cass to House of Lords in final act of premiership

Jewish author of Cass Review nominated to House of Lords


Dr Hilary Cass has been nominated to the House of Lords in Rishi Sunak's dissolution honours list (Photo: Channel 4 News YouTube)

Rishi Sunak has honoured Dr Hilary Cass OBE, the author of Cass Review, as one of two crossbench peers in his dissolution honours list.

The Jewish doctor is not party affiliated. Her nomination to the House of Lords has been announced along with a sleuth of Tory honours, including former prime minister Theresa May.

Awarded an OBE for services to child health in 2015, Cass has been at the top of the medical profession for over a decade. The paediatrician recently headed up the Cass Review into NHS gender identity services for children and young people.

The report, published in April this year, raised concerns about trans healthcare provision, noting that the clinical approach used by the Gender Identity Development Service "has not been subjected to some of the usual control measures."

When the report was released, NHS England said it would pause first appointments at adult clinics for teenagers under 18 and set out its plans to conduct a major review of its adult gender services and use of hormones. Rishi Sunak urged "extreme caution" about gender treatments.

Dr Cass’s review found that there was "remarkably weak evidence" to support gender treatments for children and noted the "toxicity of the debate".

She made 32 recommendations, including that gender services operate "to the same standards" as other children's health services.

The report prompted a furious debate about trans healthcare.

After its publication, Cass said that she stopped using public transport on the advice of security officials.

Cass’s Jewish identity became clear when she co-signed an open letter after October 7 affirming her “Jewish values”, including her commitment to the existence of Israel and the two-state solution.

Prior to her work on the report, Cass was Head of the School of Paediatrics in London, served as President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (2012-2015), Chair of the British Academy of Childhood Disability (2017-2020), Chair of Together for Short Lives and acted as the Senior Clinical Advisor for Child Health for Health Education England.

She remains an honorary Consultant Paediatrician at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Guy’s & St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust, where she was also previously Director of Education and Workforce and sits as a trustee for Nah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.

She was awarded an honorary fellowship by the Royal College of Nursing in 2015.

The other crossbench peers nominated by Sunak is Minette Batters, the former president of the National Farmers’ Union.

Meanwhile, Labour leader and new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, nominated eight retiring MPs for peerages, including Dame Margaret Hodge, the former Labour minister who took on Jeremy Corbyn during the antisemitism crisis, and former cabinet ministers Margaret Beckett and Harriet Harman.

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