I have been asked to provide a comment on the nearly completed case of the GMC v Dr H Webberley. The Tribunal hearing is being held at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).
Firstly, this blog is an opinion on matters as they proceed, and I have no part in the case. I am merely viewing aspects from the outside, like many others. I am preparing this in a non-professional capacity, but I do have some experience at giving expert evidence at tribunal over many years.
I am getting updates from ‘live Tweets’ from the hearing provided from the Tribunal service and will see if I can get a press update as well. I am also thankful to @truesolicitor and others for their updates on this case. We are aware of other live feeds but are also aware that these are not as accurate and the reporting is, let’s say, skewed. ‘live tweets’ are taken from them being in the room and hearing and seeing proceedings. Apart from being there, it’s the best we can get.
I am trying to remain faithful to the feeds and comments made, but to report the facts and give a background to the proceedings and how the trial system works.
In this case, and current tribunal hearing, Dr Webberley (Dr W) is accused of practising medicine outside the rules and regulations of the General Medical Council (GMC) during the period March -November 2016, A failure to hold a proper safeguarding policy, and (2018) a failure to be registered as a practice in Wales. But there is more to it than that.
Day 42 and beyond are brought to you by WHY are we (still) waiting?
(Friday) [week 11] of the public hearing.
It was announced on the 14th October (yes, a while ago now) that the hearing was to be called back to order.
A decision? Perhaps. Earlier than expected, but hey, an end to the saga.
Well, sadly, no.
The panel requested the gathering to announce that the decision process is going to take longer than expected and will run over the allotted 55 days.
By then, they had sat for about a week and expected THREE more.
Well, that’s OK, just come back in there weeks (about now) and tell us what you have decided. Easy.
Well, errr, no again.
That’s the problem. As the hearing has a scheduled time, that means overrun conflicts with other hearings that have yet to start. Delays that impact other hearings down the line etc.
That and the QC protagonists in each corner have other hearings and days to attend and those ‘to avoid’.
The initial suggestion was the “earliest” that the panel could meet was APRIL 2022!!!! That’s SIX months away (at that time).
That is an absolute travesty for a Dr on trial who, having not worked for the FOUR YEARS it’s taken the GMC to cobble together the circus that’s been had, finds that another SIX months is needed for her fate to be known. Even after that, they will need yet more time.
It seemed, as was suggested wittingly but worrying accurately, that the wait of teen trans people to get PBs is so long, that by the time they get to the front of the queue, they don’t need them as they are well past any preventative pubertal development. It could be said that if the GMC hold on long enough and keep delaying things, Dr HW will be retired, and the problem dismisses itself. That isn’t funny, but the gatekeeping that goes on has been laid bare, so it could happen!
What is going on and why is this taking so long?
The real answer is we don’t know. Arguably, the case seems so cut and dry, it shouldn’t take long.
So, are there aspects going on behind the scenes?
One would hope not, however, with the way the ‘establishment’, the media and government so HATE trans people, allies and supporters, there is always a risk of ‘interference’.
That couldn’t happen you say. Sadly, there are reams of evidence to say IT DOES!!
It is arguable that Boris is GC. He falls into the category of ‘tell me your GC without telling me your GC’, but probably he is.
As such, many of the cabinet are GC. Javid and Hancock are, just by the comments that have made. Truss the “Equalities” Minister AND Minister for Women (incredibly) is GC.
We also know Baroness Faulkner, Chair of the “Equalities” and Human Rights Committee (EHRC) is GC.
She has appeared on (GC) Women’s hour and in interviews with the (GC) Guardian. Each of which she trumpets on her twitter feed. Not only that, but this week (Nov 10th) Nadine Doyle, another GC, installed herself ‘unopposed’ onto the Equalities Committee. A Committee chaired by a trans supporter. However, the views of the chair could well be outvoted by a GC biased committee. This is happening everywhere. GCs are being installed and manoeuvred into all places of power to do the talking of the government but to impart the rhetoric and ideology of the far right.
THIS IS HAPPENING NOW
The EHRC are happy to openly stick GC fingers in pies that are not to do with them, all in the name of inequality and GC rhetoric. Remember she poked her nose into the Bell v Tavi hearing when it was at the High Court
Faulkner is nominated and appointed as EHRC chair by Truss. Truss has dismissed the LGBT Advisory group and is due to re-appoint a new group ‘in line’ with her thinking (the same ‘in line’ as the latest Conversion Therapy consultation). As such it is highly likely that this proposed group will have a heavy GC bias as she has all but admitted that in interviews.
It is also a well-known fact that the LGBA “charity” have strong government links are lobbying heavily within the corridors of power. We know they paid for a stand at the recent Tory conference!
We know trustees of the charity have signed the Declaration for Women calling for the ‘extinction’ of trans women.
Yes, but so what?
The Cass Review, a detailed review of services provided for and to trans people is led by Dr Cass. She is a GC and has appointed ONLY non-trans groups and members to her panel. She has excluded ANY trans representation. This is as good as stated in her comments on Twitter and elsewhere.
Dr Cass was appointed in the Autumn of 2020. We know there are embedded links between her review process and the NHS, and some of those aren’t healthy for the “independence” of the review. It is also evident and a little too ‘coincidental’ that the NHS changed its policy and pages on PB’s (puberty blockers) in June 2020 AND the BBC changed its policy for staff surrounding trans issues at that time. These changes tinkered with ‘impartiality’ and created more of a bias than was previously the case.
We know also there are strong business and personal (marital) links between journalists in the BBC news/current affairs departments and GC media publications of the daily papers. And VERY leaky links at that.
That’s probably not close enough to the GMC though.
The CQC (Care Quality Commission) are the overarching public body inspectorate for the government. They can be relied upon to give impartial representation, can’t they?
Well, probably not!
Oddly, GIC’s are not exactly exempt from CQC inspections but are not directly covered either.
They may be inspected as part of a wider inspection of an associated Health Trust or Department. They could and should be inspected but aren’t. Apart from the single exception below NONE have EVER been inspected directly. Yet hospitals, schools, care homes, hostels pre-schools and any other service has and is inspected REGULARLY. That’s odd, but more odd when the exception is considered.
Only ONE GIC has been inspected – twice! That was the Tavi and the home of a certain PGB (the instigator of the whole GMC -v- Dr HW saga).
The first inspection was carried out in August 2018, very close to the time the GMC started investigating Dr HW and showed “adequate” care. This was an (announced) inspection of the Trust as a whole rather than the Gender care especially. The Trust was rated “excellent” for the provision of services!!
We know that for GIDS, that’s essentially b*ll*cks given how PGB acted in respect of patient A & others in denying care. He is the ONLY one to suggest the hormone dose given by Dr HW to Pt A was wrong.
The second inspection, carried out in October 2020, at around the time of the Bell V Tavi appeal hearing, showed the entire system to be failing and ‘poor’. That could be deliberate as it aids the case for showing poor care and a failing system (which it is) to assist the Bell case. Another helpful ‘intervention’?
Was this to give a ‘baseline’? if so, why were others not inspected? If the Tavi was bad, and we all know the waiting lists are long, then why not inspect the others. Are they as bad, better, or worse?
No inspections have occurred to date since.
The care of trans adults seems entirely disposable and unworthy of any CQC scrutiny whilst the care of trans children/adolescents is reviewed when it ties in the anti-trans sentiment surrounding legal aspects of care? Meddling in pies from GCs and influence from a ‘charity’?
All this is a little circumstantial but does start to look a little fishy when the dates, results and decisions are reviewed. For more on this see [insert hyper link to Claire’s article]
How did this happen?
So, who called in the CQC to look at the Tavi? Hardly a random coincidental event on TWO occasions, when no other GIC has EVER been directly inspected! This must have come from the inside of the Tavi and/or from the GMC. In August 2020, a specific joint protocol was established between the GMC and the CQC regarding inspections. That could be both good and bad. That suggests fingers in pies. Again, why has no other GIC been inspected?
Also, the WHY ARE WE HERE question?
We are at the decision time of this case. So far the ONLY private gender care specialist to be brought to the hearing for treating trans patients. Treating them well but outside a vindictive, gatekeeper NHS GIC system.
It is not beyond the remit of ‘the establishment’ wheels and the “old boys network” to feed back to the panel to “get the right result”. To say it couldn’t happen is, I’m afraid, naïve.
I repeat there is no actual evidence of this, but the circumstantial evidence and the adjoined network of the way the system works, has been displayed and found out, doesn’t make a link so far removed. That IS a worry. That and the general interference from the likes of specific anti-trans groups is a concern. Bodies such as those involved here seem to absorb the wrong information without review or research and are beginning to skew the system.
Take the current BBC scandal surrounding Lily Cade and the Lowbridge article and the recent events surrounding Dr K Stock.
It shows how intertwined and ultra-defensive these organisations are to protect the GC rhetoric. How system works behind the scenes to get the (mis)information out there. The barriers the BBC have put up to justify its obvious transphobia is awful. It has shown itself to be entirely partisan. Why? Well, the fact the new DG (Tim Davie) Is an ex tory MP. He is taking ‘the party’ line over and above his responsibility to the licence fee payers. Lord Reith would be livid!
The general weakness of the GMC case, the circus like manner in which it was presented, and the holes the defence were able to put through it, show there is little to be found wanting from Dr HW. She has shown how she has acted better and more professionally than the so-called GMC ‘experts’ on many, many, occasions.
It is a concern that it's taking the panel a month to decide the remaining aspects of this case when 40% of the charges were dismissed at halftime with “no case to answer”.
What happens now?
The panel said, after discussion with both QCs that all would work to find time in collective diaries. At this stage the “earliest” that could be found was late JANUARY 2022. That’s still three months away (at that time).
Will the panel decide now and just wait for the time to release the judgement, or find the time needed, day by day, over that period? We don’t know.
The panel said they would reconvene on Monday 11th October to update everyone and agree what will happen.
As of Friday 12th November, NOTHING has been heard or rumoured.
We wait, that’s what. We have to wait. How long we wait until the waiting is over we will have to wait and see. It must be a weight on the minds of Drs W.
The case is now adjourned until the panel have reached a decision on each HoC’s.
We will be back then for the judgement. Advance notice of 12-24hrs will be given I expect.
That could be this year or next year, we just don’t yet know.
To be continued…../
NOTE FROM STEPH: I stand by the allegations made in this article and thank Claire and Nicola for their hard work in gathering all relevant evidence.