I have been following the GMC Tribunal with interest. From what I can gather the interest in Dr Webberley’s practice came entirely from other professionals who disagreed with the way in which Dr Webberley, as part of her work, gave affirmative care to young people. It seems that these colleagues did not have anything against her provision of care for adult trans people when this process was instigated. There have been no complaints about the provision of care from her patients.
The type of affirmative care that Dr Webberley was providing was an approach that was accepted treatment in the U.S. and other forward thinking countries but was not the orthodox treatment in the United Kingdom. What the real difference is that there is a difference of ideology as to how young trans people are treated and that this difference of ideology comes from differences between experts and what they consider is the right approach.
What the GMC wanted Dr Webberley to do was to close her clinic until the GMC had carried out and concluded their investigation. The difficulty in doing that was that if she did that then there was nowhere for her patients to go to receive care. I understand that it was not just a handful of patients, I have seen a figure of 2000 or so patients who would have been left without care. The GMC suggested these patients should wait until they could be seen by the NHS. Such a comment is just ludicrous, the waiting lists are horrendous often four or five years and if affirmative treatment was the treatment best suited to assist the young patients then it would have been too late by the time they were even given their first appointment. So far it has taken four years for the case to be considered irrespective of whether any of her patients would have got so far as a first appointment.
When I first looked for treatment for my dysphoria I approached my GP who looked aghast and actually totally blanked what I had said. I had been self medicating with phyto-estrogens and I knew I had to try and get my treatment regularised. I found Dr Webberleys service online and registered with Gender GP. I had no concerns with the level of care I received going through detailed questionnaires and providing information so I could be given the correct prescriptions. I was and am extremely grateful for the support which I could not get anywhere else. However, none of the GPs I registered with in that period would enter into a joint care agreement with Gender GP. The more the GMC pursued Dr Webberley the harder it came to be able to use their services. When I tried to book an appointment for surgery I needed the two referral letters. I got one from Gender GP and one from Dr Lorimer, (through his private practice). My surgeon made it clear that the referral from Gender GP was not as acceptable as that from Dr Lorimer. It was suggested I should get another referral letter from a more regular body. In fact they did take the letter in the end. I had no option but to consult privately as although referred two years ago I have heard nothing form anyone (in fact you begin to wonder whether a referral has even been made) and with my advanced years I do not feel I have the luxury of time.
There is simply completely inadequate support for Trans health care in the UK and I hope that Dr Webberley will be exonerated for any criticism in relation to the actual health care she has provided. No doubt there may be irregularities in relation to registrations which may allow the GMC to save some face for having conducted this tribunal, however Dr Webberley through her dedication and suppor of trans people has without doubt saved lives and I hope the Tribunal decision will reflect that and allow her to practise again.