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GPs face GMC investigation over treatment of transgender patients

The GMC is investigating 39 complaints regarding the medical treatment of transgender patients, including many involving GPs, after campaigners approached the regulator with a dossier of cases.

The regulator has confirmed that a meeting with a group of transgender rights activists has resulted in 39 cases warranting an initial investigation, although they are at a ‘very early stage’.

Campaigner Helen Belcher, a member of the UK Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity, said 15 GPs may be investigated by the GMC as a result.

The complaints were collected by campaigners and include reports of sexual abuse, humiliation, inappropriate diagnoses, and denial of treatment. Patients also complained their transgender status was brought up when they were seeking treatment for entirely unrelated health concerns.

Ms Belcher collected 98 patient complaints after a survey of transgender patients about their experience of dealing with medical professionals and submitted them to the GMC earlier this month.

Ms Belcher said: ‘We launched the survey to get at the facts. Without facts underpinning complaints they are just empty allegations.’

She said the group will continue to pass on information to the GMC from the survey, which is still ongoing.

A spokesperson from the GMC confirmed they were looking into 39 of the 98 cases, but refused to go into any more detail.

The spokesperson reminded GPs to ‘always act with integrity, and not to discriminate unfairly against any patients, no matter their situation’.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Hazel Drury

    Although typically I hear of plenty more good GPs (the majority) who deal with this sensitively and seek the best treatment for their patients. Don't forget, it is relatively seldom that we have to deal with this as a rule - except possibly for those of us who are earmarked as LGBT friendly - or those of us front line GPs also members of Trangender Parliamentary forum - even if we are so busy we can never attend!

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