Child of 12 got hormones at GP’s illegal trans service
A DOCTOR who gave sexchange hormones to children as young as 12 has been fined £12,000 for running an illegal clinic from her home.
Dr Helen Webberley, 49, charged between £75 and £150 an hour to patients who wanted to change sex and gave hormones to children after they were denied treatment on the NHS.
She was refused a licence for her clinic by the medical services watchdog Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) last year and prosecuted when she continued to operate.
Yesterday she was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £11,307 costs. Her company Online GP Services was also fined £2,000 after she was convicted last month of operating without a licence between March 2017 and February this year.
She said she was ‘stunned’ at the decision and would appeal, and planned to move her services to England. But yesterday the General Medical Council confirmed that Webberley has been suspended pending an investigation.
The doctor, who ran a website called Gender GP, previously told how she had given cross- sex hormone treatment to one 12-year-old and three 15year-olds, despite NHS guidelines that they should only be given to those aged about 16 or over.
A court heard the cross-sex hormone treatment causes permanent body changes and compromises fertility.
On a website in her name, Webberley said: ‘You are never too young or never too old to get help and support.’ She insisted she was innocent and that shutting her service risked patients coming to harm, Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court heard.
But District Judge Neil Thomas ruled that Webberley and her company broke the Care Standards Act. He said: ‘There seems to be a clear refusal to follow the law.’ Russell Davies, defending, said Webberley set up her Gender GP website after a ‘ snowballing’ of interest in transgender treatment.
He added she continued to run the company despite being ordered to cease her practice because she did not want to risk stopping patients’ treatments. After the hearing Webberley, from Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, said she had moved her online gender service from Wales to England and had written to the Care Quality Commission, the equivalent of the HIW, but is yet to be registered.
The CQC said: ‘ We are looking at this service through our unregistered provider process to establish if regulated activities are being carried out by this service and if so, what action CQC needs to take.’