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Late on Friday afternoon (25.09.20) we were contacted by a journalist from the Sunday Mirror/Sunday People.

The journalist told us that she was writing an investigative piece about GenderGP and that she had carried out an “undercover operation” in which she herself had posed as the parent of a twelve year old child, in a bid to get access to puberty blockers.

She thoroughly scrutinised the GenderGP Pathway Advisors with a barrage of questions and felt she had a story to run based on “news” that she had uncovered:

  • GenderGP was still serving UK patients and
  • puberty blockers could be prescribed, using remote telemedicine, within three weeks if the team assessed that it was the appropriate course of action for the “patient” in question.

 

As it happened, the story didn’t run in the end, but we did not want to miss out on this opportunity to tackle the issues raised by the journalist head on. As an organisation we have never been anything but 100% clear about our mission:

 

To support all trans people of all ages wherever they are in the world.

 

In the event that any other media outlets or individuals would like to find out more about how we as an organisation operate and our stance on transgender healthcare, we thought we would summarise the key findings here:

 

  • At GenderGP it takes up to three weeks from assessment to being prescribed gender-affirming medication such as puberty blockers or hormones if the need is straightforward.
  • At GenderGP we have a highly-trained team of specialists from all walks of life and all specialties. Our team includes doctors, psychologists and therapists and our clinically skilled Pathway Team, who are trained to answer any queries that come in.
  • GenderGP uses telemedicine and video-conferencing to consult with patients. Everything can be done online, with agreement from our patient and our team of specialists.
  • At GenderGP we follow the International Clinical Guidelines for the best care of transgender patients. There are no UK guidelines in operation and we find the current NHS clinic protocols to be outdated and harmful.
  • GenderGP is a private healthcare provider, your fees pay for the experts who provide your care. However, we have worked hard to make the process as affordable as possible and we will always collaborate with your GP, to help further reduce costs.
  • Treatment for trans young people saves lives – FACT. Delaying access to treatment causes irreversible physical damage and mental distress.
  • 12 year olds start on puberty blockers but all patients can move on to hormones when the time is right for them and they have been fully assessed. We do not treat people according to age, we treat them according to clinical need.
  • At GenderGP we are happy to answer as many questions as people need to ask and for people to take as long as they like to decide what is best for them.
  • Dr Webberley is no longer the practicing doctor within the service. She is however, still a passionate advocate for trans rights. She works with GenderGP as an advisor to help improve healthcare provision to the trans community worldwide.
  • GenderGP is owned by a company called Harland International Ltd which is based in Hong Kong. It is fully regulated to operate in all countries across the world, 100% legally.
  • GenderGP welcomes enquiries from all newspapers and other media outlets. We are more than happy to answer any questions without the need for an ‘undercover’ investigation.
  • Drs Helen and Mike Webberley are currently under investigation as a result of their work supporting transgender patients. Full details of the history of GenderGP and the investigation can be found on our website here.

 

It is interesting that this newspaper chose to focus on GenderGP’s provision of care, particularly at a point in time when trans people face such barriers to care on the NHS. Indeed, over recent weeks we have spoken to many media outlets, providing our expert insight on how access to treatment might be improved for this marginalised group.

The real focus of this piece should have been on the thousands of patients who are unable to get access to the care they need. Patients who are having to wait year after year for help, only then to have a panel of non-trans people decide whether they are trans enough to get the treatment they need.

 

If you have any questions about GenderGP, please contact us via our Help Centre.

 

Thanks to Gustavo Fring for sharing their work on Pexel.