Suspended GPs Helen and Mike Webberley move sex change clinic to Spain by Andrew Gilligan in The Sunday Times 19.05.19

The original article is here.

A private gender clinic that gave sex-change hormones to a 12-year-old is moving to Spain after both its doctors were suspended by the General Medical Council (GMC).

It will continue to dispense the drugs online from its new base in Malaga in what critics called a “dangerous loophole” in regulation.

Mike Webberley, a GP from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, was suspended on Friday after the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard his work for three young trans patients fell below the standards of care expected of a registered doctor, and is currently banned from working in the UK.

His wife, Helen, had earlier been suspended after being criminally convicted in October for operating an unlicensed clinic. Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, the regulator, said she posed a “risk to patient safety”.

The couple charged between £75 and £150 an hour to prescribe the sex-change hormones, which cause irreversible bodily changes and permanent loss of sexual function. NHS guidance says they should not be given to children.

In a statement last night, the Webberleys accused the medical authorities of “institutional transphobia” and said they provided “life-saving interim care that is unavailable anywhere else in the UK”. They claimed to have 1,600 patients, most believed to be adults.

The three cases considered by the GMC included a trans child at the onset of female puberty, whom Mike Webberley treated with blockers to stop breast development. Another was a young patient in severe mental distress to whom he gave sex-change hormones. The drugs were confiscated by the patient’s psychiatric nurse, who reported Webberley to the GMC.

The statement said that in order to provide “continuity of care” for these and other patients, the clinic would take “the necessary step of moving its working hub and medical provision outside of the UK. Patients will experience no change in service.”

The Webberleys’ MP, David Davies, said: “Sex-change hormones have permanent consequences and handing them out to children is wrong. The government should investigate how to stop what amounts to an abuse of children.”