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After two non-sitting days the hearing resumed on Thursday. Present were Mr Simon Jackson QC, counsel for the General Medical Council, and Mr Ian Stern QC, counsel for Dr Webberley.

No sooner had the trial begun than Mr Jackson QC said that new information had been provided by Stuart Gale of Frosts Pharmacy (Dr Webberley’s former employer). Mr Stern QC pointed out that the GMC had had over three years to get their information and evidence together and yet were still failing to provide it in a timely manner.

 

 

Mr Gale’s initial statement was dated 22/09/2017, and yet more material was not requested by the GMC until August 2021. The result was one sheet of new information arriving on the 11th of August, and more documents with a significant amount of information showing up on Thursday – the morning Mr Gale was due to appear. Mr Stern QC pointed out that there was no reason that the GMC couldn’t have asked for the records at a much earlier point. He stated that Dr Webberley has been waiting four years for this hearing and that the GMC had all that time to gather their evidence.

 

 

Mr Jackson CQ claimed that this new evidence was important because it shows that Dr Webberley accessed the online systems at Frosts Pharmacy after she had stated that she had stopped working for them.

After the break, Mr Stern QC argued for the relevance of self-referrals and accounts of patients and parents from GenderGP’s records. Mr Stern QC argued that these records were relevant as they show parents and patients who are knowledgeable about the facts of transgender healthcare and understand what they want, but are faced with NHS years-long waiting times or hostile GPs who refuse to help.

 

 

Mr Stern QC emphasised the value of the accounts from trans people and organisations in support of Dr Webberley, and the important context they give to her work. He said that the letters were relevant to the case because they demonstrate not only confidence in her practice, but the lifesaving effect it has had. In response the GMC argued that the letters should not be included as the writers are not experts in trans healthcare and therefore cannot speak to Dr Webberley’s competence to practice.

 

 

Among the letters were not only patients and their families, but the heads of major charities like Mermaids and GIRES, social workers, judges, and others willing to testify to Dr Webberley’s good work. Mr Stern QC emphasised that these letters represent a group of people for whom time is of the essence, and for whom the existing gender identity services are not fit for purpose.

The following day the Tribunal announced that they had made a determination on the admissibility of evidence, they said that they would not accept points one or six. One is the self-referral letters from trans people writing to Dr Webberley to ask for help. Six refers to letters from trans organisations. The other points were all declared admissible evidence, we are unsure what the other points related to, however they will now be included as evidence so we will update as we hear more.

Mr Jackson QC told the tribunal that many of the links in Dr Webberley’s witness statement were behind a paywall, many of them linking to PubMed or Elsevier. Mr Stern QC quipped that he was surprised that the General Medical Council did not have access to PubMed but that he would ensure they received downloads of the relevant articles.

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