First Do No Harm (Day Conference)

First Do No Harm

Critical perspectives on sex & gender in healthcare

Join us at 30 Euston Square, London, for the first conference of its kind in the UK. 

Learn from experts across disciplines – a unique line-up and a day of professional networking

First Do No Harm brings together clinicians, researchers, parents, and therapists to discuss current controversies in the care of children and young people with gender-related distress, safeguarding as it relates to sex and gender, sex-based language in healthcare, and addressing the impacts of gender medicine on same-sex attracted youth.

The current discourse on sex and gender in healthcare is fraught with conflict and political disagreement, and the stakes are high. We bring you a program of speakers with a wealth of knowledge and experience who will bring more light and less heat to these challenging debates.

First Do No Harm will be live streamed.

Keynote speaker  Professor Riittakerttu Kaltiala

Professor Kaltiala is Chief Psychiatrist at the Department of Adolescent Psychiatry, Tampere University Hospital in Finland. As head of a national paediatric gender clinic in Finland, Prof Kaltiala was the first leader in this field to champion a change in policy away from the medicalisation of children and young people with gender dysphoria. Her story is inspirational, and her research continues to bring new knowledge and understanding to this field.

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Prof. Kaltiala is an inspiring example of a doctor applying an ethical and evidence based approach to her work and advocating successfully for vulnerable groups. She will talk about her journey from being a leading practitioner of gender transitioning of minors to someone who became profoundly concerned about potential harm, especially to the growing cohort of adolescent girls with complex issues. She advocated for evidence based guidelines ,and a subsequent systematic review of the evidence led to a change in Finnish national policy. Prof. Kaltiala will talk about mental health problems among adolescents presenting with gender dysphoria and implications for treatment.

Other speakers include

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Professor Dame Clare Gerada MBE is a Co-Chair of the NHS Assembly, and Past President of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). She has practised medicine for over 35 years, and has been a driving force behind efforts to provide more well-being support for NHS staff. As well as being the first female Chair of the RCGP in 50 years, Clare has held leadership roles with the Department of Health and Social Care, and previously on the Council of the British Medical Association.

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Sonia Appleby is a qualified social worker, adult psychoanalytic psychotherapist and has an MSc. in health psychology, (research) and MBA. She retired from the NHS in 2021 and works in private practice. She has a long career safeguarding and protecting children in social care and health, and as a childrenʼs guardian in public and private legal proceedings. Sonia was the Named Professional for Safeguarding Children and the Safeguarding Children Lead at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She lodged a whistle-blowing claim at the London Employment Tribunal against her former employer for, inter alia, undermining her ability to perform her safeguarding role, and won her case. Sonia will discuss safeguarding children and young people in the context of organisational cultures that unwittingly pose a threat to patient safety.

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Dr Anna Hutchinson is a London based clinical psychologist with twenty-five years of frontline experience. She is the co-director of an independent practice. Clinically, she specializes in adolescent mental health and physical health. Anna worked in the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at The Tavistock Clinic between 2013 and 2017. Whilst there she witnessed unprecedented changes in the patient demographics, referral numbers and an emerging evidence base that challenged practice. Her publications document a shift in her thinking as a result – in 2016 she was writing from a gender affirmative position, by 2019-2020 she was discussing rapid/late onset gender dysphoria and detransition/regret. Her testimony alongside those of manycolleagues formed a key part of the narrative in “Time to Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Tavistockʼs Gender Service for Children,ʼ by Hannah Barnes. Since leaving GIDS, Anna has been working with others internationally to improve awareness of the complex needs of young people experiencing gender related distress, and was recently employed as an education lead for the new NHS gender services for children and young people. She continues to teach and write on the topic. Anna will talk about the need for ethical psychotherapy for young people and families coping with issues related to gender.

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Dr Az Hakeem is a leading expert in Gender Dysphoria in the UK with over 23 years clinical experience in the field. He is a Consultant Psychiatrist, Group Analyst and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at UCL Medical School. He set up and ran a UK-wide specialist psychotherapy service for Gender Dysphoria within the NHS for 12 years . He describes himself as ‘gender criticalʼ and his latest book ‘DeTrans: when transition is not the solutionʼ was published in October 2023. Az will talk about gender affirmative medicine and surgery as “Modern Conversion Therapy” risking harm to gender questioning and gender non-confirming children and young people, and those who are exploring their sexuality.

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Stella OʼMalley is a psychotherapist and author. Maintaining a private practice primarily dedicated to parenting, family dynamics and teens, Stellaʼs work focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being. A regular contributor to the media, Stella’s first bestselling book was called ‘Cotton Wool Kidsʼ, she then released ‘Bully-Proof Kids’ in 2017, ‘Fragileʼ, in 2019 and, in 2023, “What your teen is trying to tell you”. Co-host of the popular podcast, ‘Gender: A Wider Lens’, Stella is also the co-author, along with therapists Lisa Marchiano and Sasha Ayad, of ‘When Kids Say Theyʼre Transʼ. Stella is currently studying for a PhD in gender and is the founder and director of Genspect, an international organisation that offers a healthy approach to sex and gender. Stella will discuss the vital need for physical and mental health services for the increasing number of transition regretters and detransitioners, and how they can be supported to move “Beyond Transition”.

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Prof. Susan Bewley was the first woman trained in Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the UK, studied Medical Law and Ethics, and served as a consultant and Clinical Director of Women’s Services at Guyʼs and St Thomasʼ Hospitals for nearly two decades. Her focus areas include severe maternal morbidity and domestic violence in pregnancy. Dr. Bewley has published original research in gender medicine. In later years, she was also a sexual offences forensic examiner and co-led the London Havens (Sexual Assault Referral Centres). Susan will talk about the importance of sexed language for effective communication about pregnancy, breastfeeding and newborn care.

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Professor Michael Biggs is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Oxford. Prof. Biggs exposed the suppression of results from the Tavistock GIDSʼ study of puberty blockers, and is researching the Dutch protocol for treating children and adolescents with gender dysphoria. He is concerned about the lack of evidence justifying endocrinological interventions on children and young people who identify as transgender. Prof. Biggs has published on this subject in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, the Journal of Paediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, and the Journal of Sexual Medicine. He has also acted as an expert witness in the case of Keira Bell and Mrs. A. versus Tavistock NHS Trust (2020) at the High Court of England and Wales and for a case in the Australian Family Court.

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Dr Margaret McCartney is a practicing GP in Glasgow and Senior Lecturer at the University of St Andrews. She is an experienced, prize winning writer, author and broadcaster. Her research interests include policy making, risk communication, screening, conflicts of interest, bias, and evidence communication. Margaret will speak about the importance of evidence informed policy making.

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Dr Jane Martin is a retired psychiatrist and medical psychotherapist, who spent the majority of her years as an NHS consultant working in forensic services. Prior to training in medicine she qualified as a teacher, and worked in both secondary school and further education colleges. Jane has written about the effects of gender ideology on children. [link to article]. In the webinar Jane will talk about social transition and the safeguarding and child welfare issues it raises, from her perspective as a clinician,  and former teacher.

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Rachel Cashman is a Co-Founder of PSHEbrighton (www.PSHEbrighton.org) a campaigning and support organisation for parents, teachers, governors, and social workers concerned about safeguarding of children in the school system in Brighton, Hove, and Sussex. Rachel will talk about her campaign and what it is trying to achieve.

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Professor Richard Byng is a General Practitioner and Professor in Primary Care Research, University of Plymouth, with a particular interest in primary care mental health and care of individuals with complex needs. Richard will talk about how current care for 17-25 year olds could be changed to reflect evidence and professional standards of practice.



Donate to support our conference

If you are unable to attend but would like to donate to support this vital event, please donate via this linkFirst Do No Harm will be the first conference of its kind in the UK, thank you for making it a reality! 

Concessionary Tickets

We are pleased to offer concessionary and student tickets, and a free livestream, to enable those on a lower income to attend. These are subsidised via the full price ticket sales and your generous donations. This is a non-profit making conference.

We invite organisations to apply for a stall/display space via contact.cansg@gmail.com


We’re a group of UK & Ireland based clinicians calling for greater understanding of the effects of sex and gender in healthcare. We campaign for clearer dialogue, better data collection, rigorous science and improved treatment options for gender dysphoria. Our webinars, conference, will create space for the exchange of clear, evidenced based information to improve patient care. We are a membership organisation.