A GP who was suspended for running an unlicensed transgender clinic for children is facing allegations of misconduct at a medical tribunal hearing.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) must decide – based on charges brought against Helen Webberley by the General Medical Council (GMC) – whether the disgraced doctor is fit for medical practice.
After she was suspended by the GMC in 2018, Webberley moved her puberty-blocking drugs business to Spain. Now owned by a Hong Kong company, GenderGP is bypassing regulatory safeguards to issue prescriptions to children in the UK via an online service.
Webberley faces 29 charges, including failure to “provide good clinical care to three patients, and that in September 2016 she prescribed inappropriately to two patients”.
All three patients, who were aged 11, 12 and 17 at the time, were prescribed testosterone by Webberley. One of them also received puberty blockers.
According to the Daily Mail, Webberley is accused of failing to follow guidelines set out by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and the Endocrine Society in relation to all three child patients.
Children at risk
Representing the GMC, Simon Jackson QC said: “Dr Webberley compromised the patients’ safety and treatment outcome and put them at risk.”
The QC also said: “One of the issues for the tribunal to consider is not whether or not Dr Webberley regards herself as a gender specialist, but whether there are others who would regard her as having that necessary standard of expertise and training.”
The founder of GenderGP denies most of the charges being examined by the MPTS hearing, which is expected to last until October.
High Court ignored
In December, the High Court said that it was “highly unlikely” children 13 and under could ever genuinely consent to hormone blockers, and “very doubtful” 14 and 15-year-olds could do so.
Three senior judges ruled that children need to understand “the immediate and long-term consequences of the treatment, the limited evidence available as to its efficacy or purpose, the fact that the vast majority of patients proceed to the use of cross-sex hormones, and its potential life changing consequences for a child.”
Despite the High Court ruling, GenderGP told The Daily Telegraph in February that it had prescribed ‘sex swap’ hormones to children as young as twelve, and puberty blockers to children as young as ten.