More comments from BCA president Richard Brown,which I would love to question him about.

August 9, 2010
By

dino These are excerpts from Richard Browns message to members in the latest BCA newsletter “In Touch”

Richard Brown has featured quit a lot in the last 12 months Now he is concerned that he and the BCA are being misrepresented by people like me. He thinks the BCA council and Sue Wakefield know what is best for members, there is no need for them to consult members before making decisions (Simon Singh)”.  This week he told members how last October members supported his “Vision Values and Identity and assumed they would not be interested in forming an alliance with other UK chiropractors  to stand up to a regulator that is not fit for purpose, even though 600 BCA members are facing hearings which must be a record for a regulatory body.

Brown states (in red, my comments in black) “This is a tough time for many of us. With 600 complaints being currently considered by the GCC’s Investigating Committee there is a sense of frustration, anger, injustice and resignation. Some have already had notification that their cases are to be referred to a hearing of the  professional Conduct Committee, facing allegations of unacceptable professional conduct. Their “crime”? To have made claims that chiropractic (which is a profession, not a treatment) can help (not cure) conditions for which the Advertising Standards Authority has not yet authorised as being capable of substantiation.”

This could have all been prevented after the Jensen case in 2002. As the expert for Jesper Jensen I wrote two long reports on what Jesper Jensen had written on his website, we lost. The BCA had little involvement in the actual case and at the request of Sue Wakefield  I wrote a report for the  BCA council and its members.

I saw these problems coming. I predicted this and in my testimony to the PCC (which I will scan next week) I states a number of times, chiropractors should not be claiming to treat conditions (the GCC thought it was ok to make claims about back pain) because it leaves chiropractors open to this sort of complaint. It has not happened before because only Margaret Coats had complained about Marc Cashleys site.

The BCA council refused to comment on my report or distribute it to members, because it was highly critical of the GCC and their expert witness (now a GCC member) David Byfield   (who I have talked about many times on this blog.) I dont think Byfield did any more expert work after this his place taken by the highly productive Richard Brown, its been a nice little earner for Richard Brown over the years . I put the first report on the net and anyone who says the GCC does not want to restrict scope of practice is wrong (read it). Its that the GCC cant restrict the scope of practice because its written into the Chiropractic act ( this is what has saved McTimoney). I also sent a letter to BCA members to warn them  How much is this Body Politic Going to Cost us all ( This resulted in David Byfield making numerous complaints about me to the GCC and the BCA and as bad as the GCC disciplinary  process is, it pales in comparison to the BCAs process, which is behind closed doors you are not shown all the evidence against you and is not in line with human rights law) read my letter to BCA members and tell me what did the BCA  learn from this previous case. The GCC has form for moving the goal posts what did the BCA learn, nothing. Browne might say he was not on BCA council at this time Sue Wakefield was and she know everything that happened and how the insurance came up short a warning that should have been heeded when negotiating coverage for BCA members last year.

Brown then says:  Most of us had not given a passing thought to the ASA before last year. We knew that adverts had to be honest, decent, verifiable and truthful but until the sceptics struck with their mass complaints did not realise that under section C1.6 of the Code of Practice our website material was also subject to the ASA guidance. By the time we did, it was too late.

I find this hard to believe, but if it is the case he did not give it a passing thought, then he is not competent to represent his members interests. Circa 2005 Margaret Coats started using the ASA to say what chiropractors could do or could not do. I find it hard to believe someone as involved in the BCA as Richard Brown is was not aware of the cases that had come to the ASA eg the two case where an Osteopath complained about the claims made by Brit Chiro (BCAs busiest chain of clinics) more than 12 months before Carl Irwins case pointed the sceptics to the ASA. As a GCC expert witness he must have known how the GCC used the ASA in fact I suspected he was one of the chiropractic “experts” advising the ASA.

The ASA is not subject to Freedom of Information so they dont have to tell me where they get their experts from. On my first or second council meeting Margaret Coats told us in her report that she had complained to the ASA about claims being made at clinics owned by Christian Farthing and Peter Olsen (both trained chiropractors who were not on the register). I asked to see the complaints Coats with a look of indignation asked why I wanted to see them. All GCC council members would have heard me explain; if people who trained as chiropractors are making claims that infringe ASA rules chances are many registered chiropractors are doing the same and if the GCC is going to dig up this hornets nest we should advise chiropractors accordingly. Needless to say nothing was done the council had more important things to do, like persuading me to apologise to Margaret Coats for all the horrible things I had written about her before getting elected to council, in case she decided to sue for constructive dismissal.

The next thing Richard Brown states  is very interesting and should form the basis of the defence of any chiropractor who decides to defend his professional reputation, which the BCA/GCC would like you to leave at the mercy of the PCC in a closed hearing. A hearing where  Margaret Coats might walk in and give some instruction to the panel.

Richard Brown would say dont believe a word of it, I would say ask Jeb McEveney or the people who sat on the PCC that day when they were deliberating and Coats came in with some information to help them reach their decision causing the Legal assessor to  to adjourn hearing. If she did that at a private hearing where she  hand picks the people sitting on the PCC no one need ever know she could exert her influence during the lunch breaks for example. Brown states;

I am aware that BCA members have relied on both GCC and BCA leaflets and reproduced information on their websites in good faith. While the news that the GCC will not be proceeding with allegations surrounding the marketing of infant colic, asthma and sciatica was welcomed by those under investigation, chiropractors did not receive advice that anything in the initial leaflet was misleading, nor were they told to destroy copies of this leaflet by the GCC (as was the case when the 2010 leaflet was launched). I have therefore made the point to the GCC that in May 2009 chiropractors would not have known it was inappropriate to continue making claims for conditions which had also appeared in previous GCC leaflets.

The GCC knew from a survey of the profession in 2004 that over half of the profession believed that they could treat or manage asthma (57%), digestive disorders (54%), infant colic (63%), menstrual pain (63%) and a range of other non-musculoskeletal conditions. This survey is available on the GCC’s own publicly available website under the heading of “Range of conditions treated or managed by chiropractors.”

If some one sends me the advice the BCA have given you in relation to how to defend yourselves,  I am sure I could help. Richards words is your defence at a public hearing. I was one of the Council members thought  hearings without barristers would be good for the chiropractors however the GCC did not like for reasons I will explain in another posting. Kola Akindele defended himself a few years ago and won.

The BCA supports its members like no other Association. Those who have been unfortunate enough to have been involved in Fitness to Practice hearings will testify to the huge support and assistance provided by the BCA in their hour of greatest need. Moral support counts for a huge amount at these difficult times and the BCA provides it in spades.

We have given a commitment to do everything in our power to help our members through this crisis and, as always, the BCA will be there for its chiropractors.

You can say that again the BCA supports its members like no other Association and I would love to go through the all people who have left the BCA because of incompetent support. Possibly my favourite is the chiropractor whose patient called up the BCA to know if orthodontics could cause headaches only to be told, headaches could not be caused by braces and the chiropractor concerned was not a member of the BCA and the patient should complain to the GCC. In fact he was a member of the BCA but the damage was done and the case went to the PCC and he was admonished. He left the BCA when they introduced a £10,000 excess on any future complaints made. The BCA removed the excess last year under pressure from members. They just forgot to tell them how exposed they became as they would not be covered for complaints of a sexual nature  or complaints not involving patients, about 30% of complaints.

Below is the letter MIA sent to BCA members in November 2004 asking them to stay with them. The BCA complained to the FSA because they were interfering with the BCAs master plan.

Mia2

MIA-insurance

Then, this is the real joke any members who wanted to leave the BCA were hit with a letter stating it would cost £546 to do so.

MIA

On the 17th of August the Chiropractic profession is meeting with the GCC. The SCA/UCA/and McTimoney are attending as an alliance, the BCA is attending as a “responsible, evidence-based health care profession”, who will work “constructively with other healthcare providers whilst maintaining our independence as a unique profession as your representative”. Presumably other health care professionals does not include the UCA/SCA/McT alliance.  Brown tells members in “In Touch”

I will be ensuring that the BCA voice is heard and that all members of the GCC understand the feelings of our membership in the wake of current issues. This is a defining moment for the profession in the UK and I will be fighting to protect the BCA’s interests at all levels.

There are few who deny that statutory regulation is essential to protect the public and uphold standards of conduct and education. However, at the present time there are many who feel that the system of regulation in the UK is overbearing, disproportionate and unfair. It is essential that we find the balance to deliver effective ‘right-touch’ regulation and I am committed to representing the BCA’s position to ensure that this balance is achieved.

The BCA has a fantastic track record when it comes to supporting its members, representing its membership, and acting as an ambassador in Europe and internationally. It has been the leading national association for 85 years. When I joined the Association, 20 years ago this month, I was immensely proud to call myself a BCA member. I still am.

There is a well-worn expression, “Value will be remembered long after cost is forgotten”. Some organisations may claim a cheaper cost of membership, but in terms of all-round value, the BCA wins every time. Let us be proud of our membership, respectful of our heritage, keen to contribute and, above all, the best chiropractors we can be.

Richard Brown DC, LL.M, FCC, FBCA, FEAC

I can not believe  BCA members are happy with this clown, they only need 10 of them to call an Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss the way the GCC regulates and whether they want to be led by donkeys into the NHS.

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  • AMIT PATEL

    Richard, in addition to stress EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL is a big cause of hair loss….

    Here is the evidence: —

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-85248/How-alcohol-affects-body.html

    http://www.hairlossbuddy.com/6/alcohol/

    http://www.belgraviacentre.com/blog/alcohol-and-hair-loss-265/

    I think the evidence is GOLD STANDARD…. what do you think ?

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    You should call Peter Dixon and tell him

  • Rosemary

    Crocodile tears, Richard. Sounds like Margaret had run out of tactics that day – women often use tears to manipulate you men. But you’ve been round the block enough times to know that ;)

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    I thought I was Darth Vader, Margaret Coats said I was from the “dark side”. She even told other council members I was causing her hair to fall out.

    The tears rolled down her face once at a closed council meeting because I was so mean to her and for about two seconds I felt bad beating up an elderly woman.

  • Rosemary

    Hi Le Saucisson Chocolat,

    Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. I know the BCA and the GCC are from the dark side and, yes, I’m sure we can easily cast the roles of the emperor and Darth Vader. I’m talking about chiropractors, currently members of the BCA, who might like to wake up and see what’s happening to chiropractic in this country and make a stand against the coercion and deceit perpetrated by their own association and the GCC.

    Love your nom de plume by the way.

  • le saucisson chocolat

    sorry to change tack a little – prescribing rights anyone?

    http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20100608/common-painkillers-raise-heart-death-risk?ecd=wnl_cbp_081210

    @rosemary – i think we need our star wars references correct the BCA/GCC is the Dark side (i think we all can nominate an emperor and darth vader) and we are about to form a rebel alliance. We just need to get yoda, ben n the boys in the one room…

  • rodmacmillan

    Hi Richard

    Section 32 2 a of the chiropractors act is quite specific, late at night I like to read, it helps me sleep. The chiropractors act is so dull— except of course the little gem, the power does not reside with half witted dross bureaucrats like the many times sacked deputy registrar, the statutory committee has to issue notices, I can find no legal devolution of this role in the act.

    The sanction would have to be applied by a real court, not some admin clerk.

    An audit is well overdue, I am certain that the results would be interesting, particularly if the audit looked at the minutes of PCC and IC meetings to find out timelines.

  • Rosemary

    Hi Richard,

    I can see why you did and still do believe we should have tried to change the BCA from within because, had we tried and been successful, things wouldn’t be in the state they are today and we wouldn’t have the BCA as a thorn in our side. However, I’m not convinced that we would have managed to infiltrate them to the extent of changing their philosophical and political approach.

    Some say that there is a danger that you become like the people you associate with and I can see truth in that. Even if that didn’t happen, how could we have infiltrated? By stealth or brazenly vociferous? I can’t think either would have worked and imagine the frustration of it. Of course, it’s academic now and we’ll never know what might have been.

    I would like to see more and more chiropractors come over from the dark side and join us. The newly formed Alliance is possibly one way forwards but we’ll have to see what comes of that.

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    The GCC is the type of politically correct organisation that teaches employees how to be covertly racist with their “policys”. I remember when Margaret Coats forced Maxine White out of her job at the GCC after only 3 months http://www.chiropracticlive.com/?p=153 Maxine said she resigned because Coats was a bully, Coats said Maxine was incompetent (after she had resigned mind you).

    Peter Dixon was outraged because I asked him if it could have anything to do with the colour of Maxines skin?
    There is a rumour going around that Margaret Coats is trying to intimidate and bully a patient into making a complaint against a chiropractor anyone know anything about this.

  • Amit Patel

    Hi Richard….

    It makes me laugh as well at the whole incident, that the GCC did not comment on these racist comments which were included in the complaint against me. I think they realised as well as the BCA that they had dug a big hole for themseleves, and that is why the case got dropped. Yeah I remember Kola telling me about his case….. what a joke!! I think these people need to get a real job… inthe real world. But who would employ them?? I certainly would not…. !!

    It must make you think how many of these committee sitting wasters belong to the BNP !!!

    Amit

    PS: I have started eating Fish and Chips…

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    Hi Amit,
    I had forgotten about that, I apologise but thinking about it does make me laugh. He wanted you to start eating Fish and Chips as I remember, I bet he was a Tory.

    Its a long time since I was ouraged by a complaint. Kola Akindelles case where he defended himself and won had a woman complainant who called him a “Black Nigerian thief” because he would not return the cost of the visit months after the event. Its extraordiary the GCC listen to people who talk like that.

  • Amit Patel

    “The BCA supports its members like no other Association”

    I find this very very very hard to believe. In Dec 2007 I was a subject to a complaint made to the GCC by a fellow Chiropractor I worked for.I decided following professional guidance to seek the services of a solicitor in the defence process RATHER than taking the advice from the BCA to do the opposite, given the serious nature of the allegations.

    Apart from my natural sense of outrage at these false complaints, I also felt that there was a perceived racist element involved, a factor which both the local race council and my local MP noted.

    In fact my local MP kindly wrote to the GCC regarding this matter, and has offered me his full support.

    If I had gone along with the poor advice I received from the BCA HQ at the time, then i dont think the IC would have dropped the case.

    Thankfully the MP, the local race council and my solictor helped me with my case and the IC dropped it.

    I left the BCA in Dec 2008 based on my sense of the lack of support from the BCA regarding this matter, poor advice, and the financial cost. Which were not meet under my professional BCA insurance to defend myself against these accusations: which in mine and others opinions have a racist connotation

    Since this incident, I have been keeping my MP updated on a regular basis.

    Regarding the GCC I have lost totally faith in the GCC, I find them belligerent adversarial and poor value for money, and it is about time a FULL audit be carried out!

    The GCC does hinder choice , they are ruining the profession, and it could be possible be better off without them.

    I am soo pleased the Tories got in!

    Rod, if a Vote of no confidence was to be run again, would it be more than 77% or is that a silly question???? :)

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    Hi Rosemary,
    Did not realise it was you. Hard to believe that weekend in Keswick was ten years ago. Do you remember the date.

    We were all BCA members who fomed the UCA and I am sure the majority of BCA members feel like us but thought (to their cost) their intrests would be best served by hiding behind Brown et al.

    I still believe we should have all stayed in the BCA and changed it from within.

  • rod macmillan

    I think the majority of chiropractors are wellness based, believe what they do works and do their best for their patients; they have a treatment when they see a colleague; whether or not they are in pain.

    The GCC hinders choice; I have been adjusted three times a week for the last ten years, one day I had five adjustments, I felt fantastic! When I get adjusted my blood pressure is normal and my eyesight improves .

    So here is the question, why can I not offer three times a week for a year to some one else? How is it unethical to offer what benefits me?

  • Rosemary

    As a founder member of the UCA, and at the risk of meking a point that may be obvious, people should not join the UCA because it’s cheaper/protects members better etc, they should join because of its core values and principles.

    The UCA was set up as a voice for wellness chiropractic and chiropractors, with certain philosophical values. I’m sure that they’d welcome BCA members who have had a change of heart regarding their philosphical beliefs but those who are simply disillusioned because they feel the BCA has not served them as they’d like, should perhaps make their association accountable and not just defect to the UCA for better services.

  • dazed

    please do the alliance survey (just once)

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6GNST8B

  • dazed

    and still no MCA members with GCC complaints against them in respect of website content. How can the BCA have properly supported and defended their members by publishing their plethora on the internet when the court case had not even got past the first hurdle – ie the appeals on the meaning of the key phrases?

    I dont doubt that there has been a lot of work for the BCA staff and also for the UCA and SCA for their members drawn into this tangled web (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun!), But, one the key things a professional association should do is protect its memers from harrassment and harm.

    The MCA, UCA and SCA are all better value for money and have fewer members up before the PCC. Insurance is cheaper and certanly the MCa policies include run off cover should you leave the profession.

    I urge all BCA members reading this to think very very carefully efore renewing your membership. There are real alternatives who will look after you well.

  • Amit Patel

    I am so glad I left the BCA!

    Great website Richard

    Amit

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