Dr gave sex change drugs to trans patients 'without assessment' including to child, 9

19 May 2022, 20:55 | Updated: 19 May 2022, 21:15

Doctor prescribed sex change drugs to transgender patients 'without proper assessment.'. Picture: Alamy

By Liam Gould

A retired consultant wrongly prescribed sex-change treatments to seven young transgender patients, including a teenager who killed themselves months later, and a nine-year-old child.

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Dr Michael Webberley prescribed puberty blockers and hormones via GenderGP without proper assessments, including to a nine-year-old and a teenager who committed suicide a few months later.

The 55-year-old prescribed the drugs on GenderGP, an online gender clinic he ran with his wife Dr Helen Webberley.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel found dozens of charges proved against him after he was accused of failing to provide adequate clinical care to seven patients for over two years.

In many cases, the ex-consultant had taken care of the patients after restrictions had been placed on his wife's practise - who was previously accused of acting beyond the limits of her competence as a GP.

But, several doctors raised concerns with the GMC (General Medical Council) and he was later suspended.

Following the panel's conclusions, Helen Webberley posted on social media: "My heart and soul goes out to my husband.

"While he was in hospital today having a big operation, he was sent the damning list of proven allegations that the GMC have found against him.

"He hasn’t been able to tell his side of the story and he wasn’t able to be represented or to ask experts who truly understand the needs of trans people.

"I know that he has helped so many trans-people, and I know that you will wish him well in his retirement. He has served the NHS for a long and hard career. 

She added: "His patients have always loved him, as I do."

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Dr Webberley was found guilty of allowing treatment that was "not clinically indicated" or had been prescribed "without adequate tests, examinations or assessments" to all seven of the patients.

The medical tribunal found he had acted "outside the limits of his expertise" as a consultant gastroenterologist and failed to obtain consent for treatments.

The tribunal heard about one nine-year-old patient - know as Patient V - who'd been born a biological girl but identified as a boy.

Dr Webberley diagnosed the patient as suffering from gender dysphoria based on a questionnaire that was "inadequate for the assessment of a minor", and without performing an adequate mental or physical examination.

He went on to prescribe puberty blockers - which pause the physical changes of puberty - off-licence and without considering viable alternative treatments.

The panel also examined Dr Webberley's treatment of a 17-year-old patient - referred to as Patient W - who is believed to have committed suicide three months after beginning treatment.

Dr Webberley diagnosed Patient W with gender dysphoria without consulting their GP.

The tribunal also found that Patient W was prescribed testosterone without the correct procedure or consideration of potential side-effects.

Patient W had been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, but medical records weren't consulted, the tribunal heard.

Dr Webberley also wrongly prescribed puberty blockers off-licence to another patient, aged 11 as the tribunal said there was continued "sub-standard care."

Tribunal chair Tim Bradbury said: "In every case the patient was prescribed the treatment which they had sought at the outset."

Dr Webberley's "apparent intention" was "to prescribe according to the patient's wishes" and not by following a clear assessment.

GenderGP, the clinic run by Dr Webberley and his wife, posted after the ruling: "Following the outcome of Dr. Michael Webberley’s MPTS hearing, in which he was not able to take steps to defend himself, GenderGP would like to reaffirm its support for Gender Affirming Healthcare.

"Dr. Mike Webberley, through his commitment to his patients, helped to set the ball rolling in enabling trans and GNC people across the world to access their care.

"Regardless of the outcome of a hearing that Dr. Mike Webberley lacked the resources to fight and could not attend, his patients and the community have been unwavering and united in their positive feedback and support."

In April, an MPTS tribunal cleared his wife Dr Helen Webberley of wrongly prescribing sex-change treatments to three young transgender patients.

She admitted several charges relating to her conviction in October 2018 for illegally running an unregistered clinic while treating 1,600 transgender patients and gender dysphoric children in Wales.

Dr Webberley, from Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, was later fined £12,000 and suspended.

In response to the decision, she said: "Transgender healthcare has sadly become shrouded in politics and division, and I know how important the outcome of this hearing is to the community and those doctors who care for them.

"I have seen the enormous difference that gender-affirming care can make on people's lives, and I am very proud of the advocacy work we have done."

Michael Webberley faced 89 charges in total.

The tribunal will decide if he will be allowed to continue practising.