Doctor guilty of prescribing wrong trans treatments

A tribunal in the UK has heard evidence against Dr Michael Webberley for wrongly prescribing trans treatments to at least seven patients. He and his wife Dr Helen Webberley ran GenderGP, an online clinic that has now been moved to Spain. He retired after being suspended for failing to provide appropriate care.

With all seven patients, he was found guilty of providing or allowing treatment that was 'not clinically indicated' or had been prescribed without adequate tests, examinations or assessments.

The tribunal found he had acted 'outside the limits of his expertise' as a consultant gastroenterologist and without the necessary qualifications and training in general practice, transgender medicine or paediatrics.

And he failed to adhere to a recognised training pathway in transgender medicine and to obtain consent for treatments.

The tribunal heard that the doctor also failed to engage a multi-disciplinary team to address underlying issues that may cause patients to present with gender dysphoria. He was found to have prescribed treatments without any other investigations based on simple and inadequate questionnaires.

Dr Webberley prescribed puberty blockers “off-licence and without considering alternative treatments or adequately assessing the balance between the risks and benefits”. 

The panel heard about patients as young as 9-years-old who he prescribed puberty blockers to, along with a 17-year-old who went on to commit suicide after starting hormone treatment. The doctor failed to contact the child’s GP even though he had been diagnosed with “Asperger's Syndrome and had 'complex' and long-standing mental health issues”.

Both he and his wife were suspended, with Dr Webberley facing 89 charges in total.

He has been accused of prescribing treatments “according to the patient's wishes”, not based on adequate and critical objective assessments.

Dr Helen Webberley was charged and suspended in 2018 “for illegally running an unregistered clinic while treating 1,600 transgender patients and gender dysphoric children from her home in Wales”. She was also fined £12,000.

“Children deserve far better care and treatment from health care workers. Treatments must be based on thorough and critical studies, not motivated by an ideological agenda,” Binary spokeswoman Kirralie Smith said.

“Most medicalised pathways result in irreversible side effects that children are not capable of understanding the consequences of.

“All underlying issues such as trauma, mental health, abuse, autism and Asperger’s syndrome must be thoroughly investigated before embarking on life altering treatments.”