While we can’t stop misinformation around trans healthcare from existing in the first place, we can point to the evidence to ensure that the facts are clearly available to anyone who may be interested. When we heard that the Green Party had received some less than accurate information about our organisation and the work we do to support trans youth, we reached out to the party leaders to offer some clarification. This is our letter. We will publish any response we receive.
Dear Ms Berry and Mr Bartley,
It has been brought to our attention that there is a degree of misinformation circulating within the Green Party in relation to the work being carried out by our organisation in the field of trans healthcare.
We wanted to take this opportunity to directly address some of the key points and to invite the Green Party to engage in an open discussion with us.
We are aware of your proactive stance in relation to the transgender community and we wholeheartedly endorse your position of providing a safe space for all LGBTQ+ people. To quote the party directly:
‘We are unequivocal in our support for trans rights. We recognise that trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities exist and are valid.’
Our team members come from a diverse range of backgrounds, and many of them have personally experienced discrimination. We understand that the discourse around transgender issues is contentious and believe that it is only through open dialogue and education that we can effect meaningful change as an organisation.
We understand that a complaint made to the Green Party by more than one of its members contains several statements which are factually incorrect and may be legally defamatory. We have listed some of these below, together with some clarification.
GenderGP is described as a ‘highly questionable organisation’ on the grounds that it:
‘works to provide off label medication to people including children, outside of UK safeguarding regulation’
The GMC and GPhC both offer guidance for the use of unlicensed medication in the UK. The GMC guidelines state that, ‘You should usually prescribe licensed medicines in accordance with the terms of their licence. However, you may prescribe unlicensed medicines where, on the basis of an assessment of the individual patient, you conclude, for medical reasons, that it is necessary to do so to meet the specific needs of the patient.’
Off-licence medication use is both safe and effective when it is used in accordance with best medical practice. Unlicensed, off-licence and off-label refer only to the use of the medication beyond the terms of its licence, and do not refer to improper, illegal, unsafe or experimental use, as noted by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Further information regarding off-licence prescribing can be found on our website.
The complaint goes on to suggest that:
‘GenderGP… has been prosecuted for prescribing to underage patients in the past.’
GenderGP has not been prosecuted, for prescribing to underage patients or for any other reason.
The complaint suggests that GenderGP deliberately
‘… circumvents NHS guidance and this country’s pharmaceutical and medical systems which themselves have safeguarding built in. Private medical practice in this country is also obliged to follow this decision by the High Court.’
It is important to note that the proceedings directly relate to the protocols and processes undertaken by the Tavistock Clinic. Neither GenderGP nor any other healthcare service, are subject to review in the proceedings. As such, no court order is required for GenderGP to provide care to their patients.
As well as suggesting that we are:
employing ‘doctors who may not be practising or even qualified to practice in the UK’.
GenderGP is an international organisation employing doctors from all over the world. All GenderGP doctors are qualified in the country where they practice and have specialist experience in gender-affirming care. All of the doctors are fully qualified to care for UK patients registered with GenderGP.
‘Healthcare Inspectorate Wales has confirmed that neither Dr Webberley nor GenderGP have ever been registered with them and the Care Quality Commission has stated that GenderGP was not registered in England either.’
As an international organisation, not based in Wales or in England, there is no legal requirement for GenderGP to be registered with the HIW or CQC respectively.
Dr Webberley is GenderGP’s founder and a fierce advocate to the trans community. She is not currently working for the organisation in a medical capacity and there is no requirement for an individual practitioner to be registered with either of these service regulators.
There are many further references within the complaints, specifically perpetuating misinformation around puberty blockers and gender affirming hormones for trans youth. This is in danger of causing harm to trans patients, treating them differently to other adolescents seeking healthcare.
Please take steps to amend the misinformation in any place that you may have published or shared it, and confirm when this has been done. We are happy to provide any further clarification as necessary.
We look forward to receiving your response within 7 days.
Chief Communications Officer