There has been some confusion as a result of misleading articles in the media this week, so we wanted to provide some clarity.
Dr Helen Webberley has not been personally treating patients for some time via GenderGP. Instead, while her GMC investigation is ongoing, her time is being spent fighting for the rights of trans and non binary people for better access to healthcare in Wales, and the UK as a whole (for more information click here).
GenderGP continues to operate under the safe guidance of Dr Mike Webberley, while we continue to actively pursue the required registration. The judge in the case against Dr Helen Webberley acknowledged that harm to patients has been averted by the service continuing, and it is our hope that the CQC and HIW will work closely with us to achieve the necessary registration, so that our services can continue without disruption.
During this period there is a chance that we will be told to immediately cease providing services. To date we have not done so in order to protect patient safety, however, as we have seen, this has resulted in court action. When we have previously asked the regulators how they propose we direct our patients, in the event that our services are withdrawn, the advice has been to hand patients back to their GP. We know, based on past experience that this will inevitably result in these same patients being referred on to the relevant NHS GIC, and the associated, unacceptable waiting lists.
The GMC acknowledges that ‘The risk of self-harm and suicide for trans people is much greater than in the general population, and delay in accessing medical care substantially increases these risks.’ It also acknowledges that treatment to this vulnerable group of people should not be abruptly withdrawn.
It would no doubt be of benefit if the CQC and HIW were to hear first hand from patients what it would mean to them if their care was abruptly stopped. To that end we are calling on any patients who are concerned about the continuity of their care to write to both the CQC at HSCA_Registrations@cqc.org.uk and the HIW at firstname.lastname@example.org explaining why they opted to use private services, what their experiences have been of GenderGP and of the NHS, and what the result would be if their care, monitoring and medication were to be withdrawn in this manner.
GenderGP hopes to work closely with the CQC and HIW to continue to provide undisrupted services while the application process progresses.
Here Dr Helen Webberley talks to BBC Wales about the need for regulators to take a more collaborative approach.