A doctor who gave hormones to children as young as 12 has been found guilty of running an unlicensed sex-change service.
Welsh GP Helen Webberley faced criminal charges for running an online ‘gender identity’ treatment service without a licence, using the website GernderGP.co.uk.
After working with children and adults and prescribing controversial, irreversible treatments, the General Medical Council (GMC) received complaints and she was stopped for practising in certain areas.
The Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) launched a case against Webberly last year and refused to give her website a licence before prosecuting the firm and her personally, after she “refused to stop providing services to patients.”
The doctor now faces an unlimited fine after being found guilty at a magistrate’s court on Friday.
She will be sentenced in November.
Dr Helen Webberley has been prosecuted for illegally providing online healthcare services. Webberley is the doctor who gave cross-sex hormones to 12 year-olds – available only from age 16 through NHS GIDS. "Unregistered healthcare services pose a risk to patient safety" https://t.co/7B70Ixev7L
— TransgenderTrend (@Transgendertrd) October 5, 2018
HIW Chief Executive Dr Kate Chamberlain commented: “I welcome the decision of the court today. Unregistered healthcare services pose a risk to patient safety as they are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as registered services.”
Stephanie Davies-Arai of the Transgender Trend group slammed Webberley last year, when the case was launched, branding her a “rogue doctor” who was giving “serious life-changing treatment” to people too young to make such decisions.
“Children’s identities are fluid,” Davies-Arai said. “The medication fixes an identity in place, with girls in particular left with irreversible effects.”
She claimed Webberley was providing medicine to 850 transgender patients after just one hour of training via an online course, which was designed by a transgender campaign group.
— Dr Helen Webberley (@MyWebDoctorUK) October 4, 2018
Webberley, meanwhile, insisted she had “read everything going on gender care, met every single type of gendered person you can possibly meet, and talked to different professionals from across the whole of the world to inform my practice”.
On Saturday night she wrote on her website: “Today’s verdict is hugely disappointing.”
She said her husband, Mike, also a GP, would still give transgender patients “the highest standards of care”.
Earlier this year, figures revealed the number of children seeking help from Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) for ‘gender issues’ has nearly quadrupled in the past few years, with some cases involving children as young as four.