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GP suspended for 2 months for serious misconduct.

A GP who ran an online gender identity clinic was suspended from the UK medical register for two months after a tribunal found her guilty of serious misconduct in the care of three young patients transitioning from female to male.

The medical practitioners tribunal decided that Helen Webberley from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales,  had not provided proper follow-up care to two patients, aged 12 and 17, who were prescribed testosterone, and failed to discuss fertility risks before prescribing puberty blockers for an 11-year-old patient.

But the tribunal found unproved 83 the charges brought against Webberley who ran GenderGP with her husband, Michael Webberley, and declared that she was competent to provide treatment to transgender patients.

Michael Webberley, a former consultant gastroenterologist, was struck off the register after a tribunal found that he had put patients at risk of serious harm.

The tribunal imposed a two-month suspension on Helen Webberley on public protection grounds for failure to discuss the risks to fertility, concluding that she had not developed sufficient understanding of the significance of how she failed the patient.

A review after two months, the shortest practical period to make arrangements for a review hearing, would enable her to demonstrate insight and remediation, the tribunal decided.

The other areas in which her fitness to practise was found to be impaired came under the public interest grounds of promoting and maintaining public confidence in the profession and proper professional standards.

These related to the failure to follow up the two patients prescribed testosterone, and her conviction for running the online clinic without registering with Health Inspection Wales (HIW) as required.

The tribunal decided that it was appropriate to close both “public interest” cases with no sanction.

In the case of failure to follow up, tribunal chair, Angus Macpherson, said she had shown remorse and developed insight and remediation to the tribunal’s satisfaction.

With regard to her conviction, he added that Dr Webberley was in a very difficult position when HIW requested confirmation that no services would be provided until registration.

He said that the patients were an extremely vulnerable group who had turned to her because they were unable to receive treatment on the NHS. He added that she had had her registration restricted on an interim basis, through either conditions or suspension, for “an inordinately long period.”