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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Sex change patient 'regretted op'
General Medical Council plaque
Dr Russell Reid is being made subject to a GMC hearing
A patient treated by a leading psychiatrist has told a medical tribunal he bitterly regrets the sex-change operation he underwent.

"Patient B", a male to female transsexual, said Dr Russell Reid had been "too nice" in encouraging him , the General Medical Council heard.

The consultant Dr Reid, 63, of west London, a former NHS doctor, faces charges relating to five patients.

Now in private practice, Dr Reid denies serious professional misconduct.

If you are in a position of calling your patients your nephews and nieces and being known as Uncle Russell, then there is considerable difficulty there
Dr James Barrett, Charing Cross Hospital

He also denies acting contrary to international guidelines relating to the care of patients with gender dysphoria.

The GMC fitness to practice panel heard that Dr Reid, a leading authority on gender identity disorder, worked at the gender identity clinic of Charing Cross Hospital in west London from 1982 to 1990.

The clinic deals with about 90% of all NHS work in this area of medicine.

In 1990 he established a private practice in Earls Court, specialising in transsexualism.

The charges cover a period from 1988 to 2003.

The case has been brought by four psychiatrists who work at the Charing Cross Hospital gender identity clinics. The fifth complainant was another of his patients.

Known as 'uncle'

Patient B, one of the five patients the case centres around, underwent surgery to remove his penis and have an artificial vagina made in 1989.

He first consulted Dr Reid in January 1988 and was prescribed hormone treatment by the psychiatrist at the first consultation.

That took place after a series of stressful events which had left Patient B "distraught" - including the break-up of two marriages, redundancy and his mother's death.

He told the hearing: "I find life very difficult because - how can I explain it? - I don't want to be female any longer, I am not gay and I will never be able to have a full relationship with a female again and I don't want a relationship with a male.

"I get very confused when ever it comes to even simple things such as choosing which conveniences to use. It is very hard."

Patient B said he had not seen any other psychiatrist.

The hearing had earlier heard that Dr Reid was known as "uncle" by his patients, but that colleagues viewed him with concern.

Dr James Barrett of Charing Cross Hospital said: "It's a kind of boundary issues. I think that there is being so close to your group of patients that you have kind of lost sight of that.

"I think that if you are in a position of calling your patients your nephews and nieces and being known as Uncle Russell, then there is considerable difficulty there."

'Risk of damage'

Dr Donald Montgomery, who was clinical director of the gender identity clinic for seven years, said he had also had concerns about Dr Reid's practice.

He told the hearing: "I thought that some of the patients that Dr Reid had managed over the years had been at risk of being harmed by his early premature prescription of sex hormones without adequate assessment or a cooling off period, a period of reflection of counselling, or a second opinion from another interested professional."

Dr Montgomery, who admitted under cross-questioning that he "did not like Dr Reid", said there had been occasions where Dr Reid had referred patients for genital reassignment surgery without a second opinion or without patients completing a period of eligible real life experience.

He said this "put patients at risk of psychological and social damage."

The hearing continues.

Sex change expert investigated
20 Jan 04 |  Health

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