Gender GP clinic faces questions after giving sex-change hormones to 12-year-old Andrew Gilligan The Sunday Times 25.11.18

The original article is here.

A private gender clinic that gave sex-change hormones to a 12-year-old has been left in limbo after both its doctors were placed under investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Helen Webberley, founder of Gender GP in Wales, was convicted in court last month of operating gender treatment services without a licence. She was already subject to a GMC investigation and is banned from treating transgender patients unsupervised.

She announced that her husband Mike, also a GP, would take over the service to give trans clients “the highest standards of care”. Last week, however, the GMC began to investigate Mike Webberley. It has banned him from prescribing sex-change hormones over the internet, one of Gender GP’s main lines of business, and said any such patients must see him in person at his Abergavenny home.

In a statement, Mike Webberley said the investigation was “perhaps inevitable” given the “negative attention” his wife had received. He blamed “spurious complaints made against me by individuals, many of whom are less qualified than myself”.

Most of Gender GP’s patients are adults but it has earned notoriety for its willingness to treat children with hormones that can cause irreversible changes and compromise fertility. NHS guidelines do not allow such treatment for under-16s.

Helen Webberley faces an unlimited fine when she is sentenced next month. The case, at Merthyr Tydfil magistrates’ court, was brought by the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW).

Convicting her under the Care Standards Act 2000, Neil Thomas, the district judge, ruled that she had committed the offence of illegally providing healthcare services through “consent, connivance or neglect”.

Kate Chamberlain, HIW’s chief executive, said Gender GP posed a “risk to patient safety”.