The High Court refused to remit the matter back to the MPT for a fresh determination, thereby bringing the matter to an end in Webberley v General Medical Council [2023] EWHC 734 (Admin) (31 March 2023).

Dr Webberley provided treatment to patients diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and prescribed puberty blockers to one such 11 year-old patient.

A medical practitioners tribunal decided in June 2022 to suspend her briefly after a hearing lasting 85 days spread over nearly a year, in which most of the charges against her were found unproved. The tribunal imposed the sanction on public protection grounds for failure to advise the 11 year old patient who was assigned female at birth, but identified as male, of the risk to fertility.

But a High Court judge has allowed Webberly’s appeal, concluding that the tribunal’s analysis of the issue of serious misconduct was “confused, clearly wrong in places, and it omitted reference to important evidence. Mr Justice Jay said:

“Drawing all these strands together, my overall conclusion is as follows. The MPT’s analysis of the issue of serious misconduct was wrong. The MPT’s thinking was confused, clearly wrong in places, and it omitted reference to important evidence. Having conducted my own analysis of the relevant material, I am entirely unable to conclude that this appeal should be dismissed because the Appellant was guilty of serious misconduct. Although I have concerns about certain aspects of the Appellant’s practice in relation to Patient C including a failure to have a face-to-face consultation on the issue of fertility, it is far from clear to me that what did take place should be strongly criticised. In addition, it would be clearly unfair and unprincipled to uphold the MPT’s determination on the basis of rather different reasoning which has not been fully addressed in expert evidence and tested by cross-examination of the Appellant.”

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