A doctor who ran an unlicensed online gender identity clinic that offered gender reassignment treatments to children as young as 12 has appeared before a medical tribunal accused of failing to provide proper clinical care to three patients.
dr. Helen Webberley, who along with her husband Dr. Michael Webberley, who founded the GenderGP online clinic, is also accused of inappropriate prescribing to two other patients.
The 52-year-old, who is currently banned from exercising, appeared via video link today at a Medical Practitioners Service (MPTS) fitness-to-practice hearing in Manchester.
She faces a total of 29 charges, most of which she denies, related to the period March 2016 to November 2016, including failure to provide proper clinical care to three child patients receiving hormone treatment.
dr. Webberley is also charged with failing to obtain an adequate medical history and to arrange for adequate examinations, including physical exams and psychological assessments.
Those assessments were needed to confirm a diagnosis of gender dysphoria before prescribing testosterone treatment to two patients — known only as Patients A and B.
dr. Helen Webberley was accused of failing to provide proper clinical care to three child patients and inappropriate prescribing to two other patients
She was also accused of not following professional guidelines.
Patient A is said to have been given testosterone when it was ‘not suitable for use’ in children their age, while a third patient – patient C – testosterone and GnRHA – or puberty blockers – was prescribed when Dr. Webberley missed the ‘adequate training’. qualifications or experience in pediatric endocrinology” and failed to discuss the risks of treatment.
In all three patients, Dr. Webberley is accused of failing to adhere to international guidelines established by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the Endocrine Society.
As such, she “knew or should have known” that she was acting beyond the limits of her competence as a general practitioner with a special interest in gender dysphoria.
Pictured: Dr. Helen Webberley ran a private transgender clinic from her home until 2018 when she was convicted of running it illegally
Other allegations involve two other patients – Patient D and Patient E – following a CQC inspection by Dr. Matt Limited, where Dr. Webberley was the security chief.
She is accused of inappropriately prescribing drugs and of not being aware of and never seeing the safety policy.
dr. Webberley is also facing several charges related to her former role as director of Gender GP, which states on her website that ‘all medical advice and prescriptions are provided by doctors working outside the UK’.
His practice is reportedly “motivated by attempts to circumvent the UK’s regulatory framework, including the CQC (Care Quality Commission), HIW (Health Inspectorate Wales) and the GMC (General Medical Council).”
dr. Webberley is admitting several charges related to her October 2018 conviction for illegally running an unregistered clinic – Online GP Services Ltd – while treating 1,600 transgender patients and gender dysphoric children from her home in Wales.
Mid Wales Magistrates Court heard she was giving hormones to children as young as 12 after the young people were refused treatment by the NHS.
A judge said there was a “clear refusal to follow the law”, while regulator Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) said she posed a risk to patient safety.
dr. Webberley was later fined £12,000.
She also admits to providing false information to an interim tribunal in May 2017 that she was a member of the Royal College of Practitioners (RCGP).
But she denies having “repeatedly frustrated” a 2017 review by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in her online practices.
dr. Webberley and her husband, who was suspended in May 2019, moved online GenderGP to Malaga in Spain in May 2019.
But it is now owned by Harland International Ltd of Hong Kong and she only works in a non-medical advocacy role.
The treatment of young transgender patients, including the use of puberty blockers, has proved controversial.
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which operates NHS England’s only gender identity development service for children, is challenging a landmark Supreme Court ruling last year that children under 16 considering gender reassignment are unlikely to be mature enough to give informed consent. to give to puberty-inhibiting drugs are prescribed.
dr. Webberley (pictured in court in 2018) moved the Gender GP to Malaga in Spain in May 2019
The case was brought by Keira Bell, a 24-year-old woman who started taking puberty blockers when she was 16 before coming off menopause.
As a result of the decision, the Tavistock suspended new referrals for puberty blockers and sex hormones for young people under 16.
But lawyers for the trust told the Court of Appeals in June that the ruling meant that children with gender dysphoria were “treated differently from others in their age group seeking medical treatment.”
A decision on the trust’s appeal has yet to be made.
Tavistock began appealing the ruling in June and Fenella Morris, QC, before the trust, said the decision “re-introduced nearly half a century of established legislation” and “caused serious problems for many young people and their families”.
In written arguments, she said: ‘The effect of the court’s ruling is that trans children and young people are denied access to the treatment they so want and need. It is unclear what ‘benefit’ can be gained from this.’
She continued: ‘It undermined the right of children under 16 to make their own decisions when individually judged as competent by their treating physicians.
“It entered the realm of decisions agreed upon by doctors, patients and their parents, where the court had never been before.”
Ms Bell’s lawyers previously claimed that there is “a very high probability” that children who start taking hormone blockers will later take sex hormones, which they say cause “irreversible changes.”
In a separate Supreme Court case in March, a judge ruled that parents of transgender children can consent to treatment with puberty blockers on behalf of their child without court approval.