Despite hearing evidence in favour of the care Dr Webberley gave the patients for which she is under investigation.
The GMC has requested a further 8 months’ extension to the suspension of her licence to practice medicine.
That will be 5 years and 3 months of Dr Helen Webberley not being able to work.
The First GMC Hearing:
How Did Dr. Helen Webberley’s GMC Investigation Begin?
Dr Webberley is under investigation by the GMC for the care she has provided transgender patients.
In late 2016, Professor Butler raised concerns about the care she gave patient A which were then presented to her regulator, The General Medical Council (GMC).
In May 2017, the case was heard by an interim orders tribunal whose job is to balance the risks of a doctor being allowed to continue practising medicine while they are under investigation.
They balance the risks of harm to the patients and to the public confidence in the profession, against the risks to the doctor of having any restrictions put on their practice.
The outcome was to impose restrictions on her license to practice for a period of 18 months.
This is the maximum time allowed, and this was awarded because they felt the case was likely to be complicated. Then in November 2018, at the expiry of the 18 months, the GMC applied to the High Court for an extension and this was granted for a period of a year.
In 2019, The GMC Extended the Extension By 1 More Year
What Did This Mean For Dr. Helen Webberley?
In November 2019, the GMC applied to the High Court for a further year’s extension, and this time Dr Webberley challenged it.
She felt that it was terribly unfair that so much time was passing, and that she had been unable to work all this time, and that her patients needed her.
At that time, Justice Knowles was critical of the GMC position and sympathetic to hers and he only allowed a further 6 months to make sure the GMC hurried to finish their investigation.
In 2020, The GMC Requested Another 1 Year Extension
Dr Helen Webberley’s Final Hearing Was Set For July 2021 – October 2021
By May 2020, the investigation had finished and her case had been referred to a final hearing to start in July 2021 and finish in October 2021. So when the GMC once again applied to the High Court for a 12-month extension, it seemed that the end was indeed nigh, and at that extension request, the GMC applied to the High Court for an extension which has continued until 8 December 2021, to cover all eventualities.
The hearing lasted from July 2021 and finished in October 2021, a total of 55 days, but the matter was not concluded and the GMC have given no clear date for the completion. It seems that it is likely to be well into late summer 2022 before there is any chance of completion.
After The GMC Hearing: It’s Impacts on Transgender Healthcare
5 Years and 3 Months of Suspensions for Dr Helen Webberley.
Once again, the GMC has applied to the High Court for a further extension, this time until August 2022. That will be 1916 days of not being able to work – 5 years and 3 months of me not being able to practice as a doctor, and for my patients not to have had the benefits of her care.
However, during the formal hearing this summer, we have heard from experts about the care that Dr Webberley gave. Some who agreed and some who disagreed. In the same way that Professor Butler and Dr Webberley disagreed about the care that Dr Webberley gave, so did the other experts who gave evidence. The GMC experts felt that youth should not have ready access to puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones, But Dr Webberley’s experts agreed with the care she provided.
Appealing The GMC Investigation’s Extensions
Dr. Helen Webberley Returns to the High Court
So on Wednesday, I shall be returning to the High Court to explain that I don’t think this is fair. We have heard from experts in this case who have agreed with the care I provided. We have heard from Patient A and his mother about the positive impact my care had.
Yet still, the GMC want to prevent me from working, and I challenge that!