Former General Chiropractic Council member, Dana Greens letter to new council members in December 2007. “GCC is not fit for purpose”

July 2, 2009
By

lisabon2 Dana has given me permission to publish her letter . Remember although there is a new “Reformed GCC” its the same old minus the “whingers” who wanted to change it for the better.

A number of council members wanted to have Dana’s letter put on the agenda for a closed council meeting February 2008, the Chairman Peter Dixon refused. My efforts to bring these issues to the surface is what subsequently led to my removal from council in March 2008. Peter Dixon was not happy with Dana naming and criticising CHRE (Council for Health Care and Regulatory Excellence) members in her letter, as it might “damage the good relationship the GCC had built up with them”.  I have removed the names of CHRE members from the letter so its for others to look into how the CHRE were able to reward Peters support in their annual report on the GCC. (Freedom of Information Act.)

Richard

 

Dear Colleague:

After ten years on the GCC, the Incompetence, factions, intimidation and hidden agendas are worse than when we started. During that time, any and all efforts towards ‘openness and transparency’ have been quashed.

Following are just a few of the episodes unacceptable in a statutory body:
1. A senior member of staff, responsible for the regulation of chiropractors posted anti-chiropractic material on national and international web sites under the name ‘Cognitio.’ I initially alerted Margaret to two web sites on which Cognitio posted – one in the UK which was already being investigated and a second in the US which interestingly removed all traces of Cognitio a few days later. I printed them off beforehand and append them here (ref. 1)

Greg Price was ‘Cognitio’ and has quietly disappeared. Despite numerous questions from many members of Council there have been no explanations.

a. Where did the information come from regarding graduates from certain
chiropractic colleges failing the TOC? The information posted is defamatory if it is not true and, true or not, it is a breach of confidentiality.

b. Why has an employee of the GCC not been investigated for breaching
confidentiality in the above instance and putting the GCC at risk? This is
especially pertinent as we spent £100k altogether on the web site
investigations part of this to ‘clear’ Greg’s name.

c. Why has the GCC not sued him for recompense?

d. Why has Margaret Coats, as his line manager, not been called to account for his behaviour? After all, there were several complaints made about him.

Additionally Greg ‘fuelled’ complaints and may well have filtered them. Any efforts to get his department audited were met with derision.

2. When one of my colleagues questioned procedures from the regulatory officer, they were sent to Jo Ashton (who did the training for committee work) to discuss how they ‘could better understand their obligations’.

This colleague had a former patient complain that when she queried an incorrect payment at a chiropractic clinic with the GCC, a solicitor was sent to take a statement which she neither asked for not desired. She was quite unhappy with this. My colleague was trying to clarify the issue. Obviously, an issue before the IC cannot be discussed, but a genuine query from a full Council member should never have been handled in this fashion.

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3. During the transition period some prospective chiropractors were called for an interview, a panel on which I often sat. Margaret changed the outcome of at least two interviews, which is her right. However, I sat as a panellist on one of these and was the only member not to have been consulted. I append the relevant correspondence. This is unacceptable.

Margaret refused to say how many outcomes of interviews had been changed, stating she would have to spend time looking through the paperwork to find the information. Although the Registrar has the right to deny registration, Council was never made aware that this had occurred.

There are long intervals between Council meetings therefore timely and complete agendas are essential for Council to fulfil its statutory duties.

4. The last GCC meeting that I attended (1st May 2007) was a travesty of regulation. SEVEN tabled papers, most of them financial, is totally unacceptable particularly as we had an informal pre-meeting where these could have been disseminated and discussed. This looks engineered.
Additionally, I tried twice to get an item on the agenda on the issue of chiropractors selling on commission. It was refused. It was finally brought up under AOB where it was correctly debated and decided – by Council. (Please note that the advice being given out on the topic by the office was incorrect and needed addressing). The Council is responsible to Parliament for the GCC’s working and decisions. It is not acceptable that the agenda is too often decided behind the scenes.

5. Brian Mouatt, the Secretary of State appointee was treated badly.
He was denied attendance at the meeting with Englehart dealing with Judicial Review when, in his capacity as SoS ( secretary of State) appointee for Education, his presence was essential. His resignation was blandly noted – and without any reason for it in the minutes until I amended them some time later.

He was incredibly hard working for the Council and a man of integrity. He literally walked out, with absolutely no warning, at the end of the December 2006 meeting. He felt humiliated. His views were denigrated and ignored (and he also had a complaint made against him)

6. Richard Rumary left under similar circumstances. He was at the meeting with the solicitors to discuss using interviews for registration during the transitional period. His view of the legal advice was different (and he has had legal training) from that of the office and he felt he could not continue to work with the Council.

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He also put in a huge amount of extra work for the GCC in those early years, unsung and unrewarded. With his legal background he spent endless hours helping with the Rules and other documentation (such as those for Registration and Retention, Code of Practice, etc.) He was also a man of considerable integrity, without ego and with a wonderful sense of humour. The GCC lost two excellent men.

7. A letter addressed to me was opened by the office, read, acted upon (sent to the chairman) and retained. It is ludicrous to say the ‘office policy’ (which was never verified) was to open mail. The policy, if it existed, certainly did not extend to reading, acting upon and retaining it. This was invasion of privacy and theft. Why protect such activities in an employee. Can you imagine if I had interfered with the GCC”s post? (Ref. 3)

Talent were not used to advantage as the example above with Brian Mouatt. Additionally, I was the only chiropractor on the GCC trained to treat animals.

8. When the GCC held a meeting with the animal osteopaths and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons about the legal aspects of treating animals, I was excluded. (In the end I invited myself).

We have an overburdened, expensive and ludicrous fitness to practice system that engenders derision from the legal fraternity and pure paranoia from the profession. [The last ten PCC cases resulted in one dismissal, seven admonishments and two conditions of practice]

The GCC, as a whole, is responsible to Parliament and not a law onto itself. [Recently, deputy chair of the Health Profession Council had to resign . In addition, several members of CHRE were removed for an expensive ‘junket’ to Australia]

Admittedly the present government is corrupt beyond belief but that does not mean that the GCC is either immune from examination or should accept its shortcomings. There is room for improvement! Go for it. Perhaps we may eventually have a cohesive regulatory body mirroring a similar profession.

Dana Green December 2007

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Related posts:

  1. Peter Dixon will not be held accountable to former members of council
  2. I am not calling Peter Dixon President of the College of Chiropractors a liar, but…….
  3. How the General Chiropractic Council Conducts an investigation
  4. Rod MacMillan’s letter of complaint to Peter Dixon
  5. The GCCs Kangaroo court to remove me from council
  6. All they want is to have me apologise to Margaret Coats for all the things I have said about her
  7. GCC chair Peter Dixon fiddles while Chiropractic burns
  8. The only way to get information out is to breach confidentiality
  9. The GCC no lovers of free speech spent almost £100,000 trying to censor this site
  10. GCC Chief Executive Margaret Coats looks after her friends; The test of Competency.

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  • Chris

    Spunds like there usual sledge hammer approach

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    CHRE told me the GCC is the only regualtor that uses PIs. The guy who came in to us was about as discreet as a poledancer in a church. “My friend wants a chiropractor can I tell him you are a chiropractor”.

  • Chris

    oh and i have had similar experience of PI’s trying to catch myself and reception staff out they are so obvious. Dont use the title and cant be caught out. All GCC use is implication of using title. As far as i am aware no need to be a chiropractor to carry out manipulative techniques as pointed out in the NICE guidelines.

  • Chris

    would love to do a litte locum work in Ireland and register in Ireland. love the fact that EU law superceeds UK law therefore GCC have no jurisdiction. If you hear of anything availabel in Ireland please let me know.

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    Hi Chris,
    They would have loved you at the interview. A friend of mine was refused because he did not see the point in checking the blood pressure and said it. They do not like “smart arses”, it was easier just to go along and give them the answers they wanted. Coats, Linda Stone and the chiropractor on the panel was probably not a McTimoney so you were really screwed.
    Like you I practice chiropractic at my clinic in Kingston upon Thames, because of the profile I have in the profession the GCC wanted to make sure other chiropractors would think twice about coming off the register hence the harassment with the PIs. One guy they had arrested and convicted so he would go pack on the register. Its a bit like paying protection money . Margaret Coats wont harass you if you pay the GCC £1,000 each year. There is an Irish McTimoney Association you could ask for information on doing a locum in Ireland which would qualify you for membership.
    I believe if you are a recognised in Ireland you could work as a chiropractor in the UK without being on the register. I am not 100%, you will recall there were legitimate concerns with the GP who was doing a weekend locum from Germany and killed a patient. Was he on the UK register? Home countries can not put up barriers to prevent free movement of labour. I will keep posting on any progress I make on this.

  • Chris

    Hi Richard.

    Interesting letter on many levels. As one of the individuals who was called for the dubious pleasure of an interwiew. I have to say i have never been given a satisfactory response as to why i wasnt accepted onto the register. I turned down the kind offer of a test of competance as i had only just qualified and was not given a justification for the referral.
    I therefore withdrew my application and received a letter stating that my application had been denied. I then informed the GCC that the application couldnt be dernied as there wasnt one as i had chosen not to be a part of their circus and withdrawn it.I was asked a serious of ridiculous questions which appeared to be to illicit an adverse reaction.
    Linda Stones was a peach. Did i know the difference between a symptom and a reaction to drugs??? I replied not of the top of my head that why i used a ref book to check. She then asked me which ref book? i replied Mimms. To which she laughed and suggested that it waqs a comic and not appropriate ref material. I pointed out that in my previous employment as a drug rep i had founf that the magority of GP’s used Mimms as a source of ref She didnt like that response and told me the only ref material should be BNF. I suggested that she might want to make that recomendation the the GMC.
    The thyen asked a few technical questions which i couldnt see the relevance of and asked that if i replied to her question would she need advice from her chiro colleagues on the panel to understand my response. She replied possibly. I thereforer ddeclined to answer on the basis that she wasnt qualified to ask the question in the 1st place. Think i had ruffled a few feathers at this point lol.
    Also asked a ridiculous question by some bloody aussie FFS. Did i realise the potential risk of neck adjustments. I took it he was referring the the potential risk of stroke following adjustment. I said that i was but as a martial artist i was not going to use a technique that i my opinion was inherently dangerous i.e rotary neck brace as not dissimailar to technique used in martial arts to break someones neck!!! So therefore used the McT technique i had been taught. I believet the risk of stroke following a C spine adjustment is somewhere between 1 and 3 million to one chance depending on who’s stats u believe. He then asked if i though there was no risk with McT i replied that i thought there was less risk. My response was that there had been no recorded case of it having happend following a McT adjustment. He then suggested that it didnt mean it couldnt happen. I concurred but suggested that evidence suggested it was certainly less likely as did insurance premuims. He really didnt like that.
    I also wrote and challenged the GCC over the legality of their selection process on an educational level. No response as usual.

    So now i continue to do what i have always done that is treat people and improve their quality of life. My evidence is based on satisfied clients.I do not call myself a chiropractor but i do give chiropractic treatments. As the law controls title and not function. Good enough for me i say.

    Also Richard i am very interested in what u had to say about the ICA and EU law surely if eu law suoperceeds country law the coming from an EU state with appropriate qualification and insurance means u can work in the uk as u then dont have to adhere to uk law as EU law superceeds LOL. As a qualified McT with over 10 yrs exp yes i know i have survived that long ouside of the GCC and yes it has been a struggle at time especially with all the paranoia.

    So how would i go about becoming a member of the Irish chira assoc??? My grandmother would be cheffed to hear i was associated through ireland. She was from Thurles

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