Doctor probed over trans patient complaints

Investigation into doctor who treats gender reassignment patients accused of being a 'witch hunt' by NHS

Doctor probed over trans patient complaints
07 January 2013

A doctor who treated trans men and women seeking gender reassignment is being investigated after several patients complained about his practices.

One of the most serious complaints which prompted Britain’s General Medical Council to investigate Dr Richard Curtis was filed by a patient who had a double mastectomy and hormone therapy but later regretted the decision.

Other allegations against the London-based General Practitioner include that he prescribed gender reassignment drugs to a patient under 18, without the specialist knowledge and skills to do so, and gave hormone treatment without referring the patient for a second opinion or before they had undergone counseling.

Dr Curtis is also accused of breaching restrictions placed on his practice in Marylebone by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), which were first imposed in November 2011.

The conditions, which include a ban on prescribing hormone treatment for trans patients before they have undergone a mental health or psychological assessment, were extended until May 2013, reported The Guardian.

They will remain in place until the GMC publishes the results of its investigation. If the complaints are upheld, the case will return to the MPTS for a further hearing.

The GMC investigation into Dr Curtis has re-ignited debate on the treatment of transgender people on the NHS.

Jane Fae, a feminist and sexual rights activist, told Gay Star News that many within the trans community fear the standardisation of gender reassignment treatment and that the NHS is trying to silence dissenting views.

She said: ‘Where there are genuine causes for concern, they should be investigated.

‘However, the real fear within the trans community, when GPs, who more generally refuse to treat trans men and women, seem to be immune from any sort of action, is that this sort of focus looks like the NHS establishment seeking to close down any care service which does not fit its own narrow view of how care should be delivered. In other words, a witch hunt.’

A spokeswoman for the Medical Defence Union, which is representing Dr Curtis, told The Guardian the GP was unable to comment on any of the allegations ‘because of the ongoing investigation and his duty of patient confidentiality’.

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