PCC find 18 chiropractors not guilty of trying to mislead the public into thinking they were medical doctors. 680 to go.

November 12, 2010

The results of the first 18 Professional Conduct Committee Hearings have been posted on the GCC website (Below the chiropractor who talked to his patient in his car). The Investigating Committee decided these people had a case to answer and the  the PCC looked at the complaint and dismissed them all. Only 680 to go.

Now You might take the view that the PCC decision shows regulation works, however very few of my grips with the GCC are due to PCC decisions. In fact when I was elected to council  the 5 people who nominated me all had their complaints dismissed by the PCC. The Problem is that Margaret Coats insisted on a different legal interpretation of the Chiropractic Act than the Osteopaths ( accepted by a majority of GCC  in 2007, ) therefore the Investigating Committee has no choice but to send these cases forward to the PCC. The investigating committee of the Osteopathic council would have seen that the likelihood of these case amounting to unprofessional conduct was nil and would have dismissed these complaints.

Myself, Marc Cashley, Graham Heale, Kevin Grant, Karl Lago were part of a working committee set up to review the complaints process and it was obvious the main problem was what happened in Coats office after the complaint was made. Now we know these people have been actively soliciting extra complaints from Zeno, have threatened other complainants with legal action and a fine of £5,000 for failure to testify against a chiropractor. The regulator solicits and encourages people to make complaints against chiropractors, its as simple as that. Now they are also telling chiropractors who want to leave the register they will be forced to stay on and pay the £1,000 registration fees (my next posting) until these hearing are concluded.

By having these hearing in Private it will fail to highlight the role Margaret Coats has in soliciting complaints and formulating the complaint for presentation to the Investigating Comitee so the chiropractor has a case to answer. Of course I am delighted for these chiropractors and the decision highlights the importance of the Legal Assessor who will protect the right of those who chose a public hearing and bleed the GCC coffers.

I have posted the GCC decision on  Gareth Rhys who was the first chiropractor ever who had Coats go after him back in 2000. It was a terrible time for him and his partner Lone.  Coats was not able to find one expert who had a bad word to say about Gareth and the complaint  was dismissed.

I notice Lone was among the 18 complaints dismissed. Another first for Gareth a Husband nad Wife double complaint if it had been a public hearing they could have presented their case like the TV programme Mr & Mrs which might have given some credibility to the proceedings. (Al l 4 pages are there just scrolling down)





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  • http://www.chiropracticlive.com Richard Lanigan

    Hi Colin,

    No they are not lost, they are in the admin section of “WordPress” but
    obviously something went wrong when I did the upgrade and I am trying to get
    some advice on putting it right.


  • http://twitter.com/welshandgrumpy Colin Jenkins

    Are all the old site comments lost or will they be integrated into DISQUS? Can’t see a ContactUs page hence query here…

  • Garland Glenn

    If I had no intention of ever practicing in the UK again, I wouldn’t pay. One thing you might want to consider is that if you ever want to practice in a jurisdiction that requires a license or registration ( US, another EU country that might pass legislation, New Zealand, Australia come to mind), you will have to disclose whatever happens with the GCC. Refusing to pay your fees might be an issue.

    However there is a legal issue and that being: Was the complaint filed against you before or after you left the UK and before or after the rule was changed requiring you to pay even when you’re under investigation. I would think that if the rule was changed AFTER you left the UK AND after you went under investigation, the regulations that were in effect when you were served notice are the rules that apply. It is against the law to change the rules on you after the initiation of legal proceedings. It is also against the law to charge you for a violation after the fact if it wasn’t a violation at the time you did whatever you did. This would apply to everyone that was put under investigation BEFORE the rules changed.

    If you left the UK before you were notified of investigation and before the rules about paying the retention fee were changed AND you notified the GCC that you had left their jurisdiction with no intention of returning, then anything that happened after that time falls outside of their jurisdiction. When I was under investigation the GCC wouldn’t let me resign but they can’t enforce renewal into a new year if you would have chosen not to renew any way. This becomes an issue for chiropractors who intend to remain in the UK after their case is concluded. Anything you do outside the UK is outside their sphere of influence.

    I have brought this up before. If the 600ish chiros under investigation joined together and sought out legal advice as a group, I think what you would find is that it would be considered illegal to change the retention fee rule after the fact. While it would be legal IF the change in the rule stated that at some time AFTER the new rule is created it goes into affect. You cannot not pass a ruling that is retroactive if it puts people at risk. At the very least they could all pay into an escrow account showing good faith while waiting for a ruling to be passed down from the appropriate court. This alone would cripple the GCC.

  • Stuck on the registrar

    I’m one of those chiropractors that are not permitted to leave the registrar. I haven’t even been living in the UK but Margaret Coats sends me letters reminding me I haven’t paid the retention fees and I will be expected to pay them. I wonder what the press would think about the GCC allowing me to be on the registar even though I don’t have the mandatory UK indemnity insurance? I have no intention of paying these fees as I haven’t asked for or used the abilty to practice in the UK for the time in question. It’s like someone doing your gardening without being asked and then charging you an extortionate fee for doing so. Did you do the follow up post about people like me?

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    Hi Bilbo,
    Like me Barney is a former council member and we are testimony to the fact that “Self Statutory Regulation” has not worked. Because to few were prepared to put the interests of the profession before their own agenda.

    The GCC is extremely litigious I have been on the receiving end of many many letters from the GCC lawyers. Only once have I been forced to withdraw something when I called Margret Coats a liar. I withdrew the comment because according to my lawyer when someone gives incorrect information to council members it does not necessarily make them a liar they may just have been mistaken. When they do it over and over again it still does not prove they are liars it could be because they are forgetful rather than being a liar. Therefore I withdrew my comment and feel devious may be a better word to describe the Chief Executive of the GCC.

    Besides that I stand by every word on this blog as hard as it is to believe. As I love to say ” you could not make this up”

  • Dr Bilbo Baggins

    @ Barney

    ‘……. one colleague left the GCC after a day-late application for re-registration was rejected and was told they would have to retrain for four years!’

    Well of course this will happen, surely this is an example of bureaucracy and power out of control. It is why the checks and balances have failed that worry me, or if they haven’t failed why anyone would presume this to be reasonable rather than arrogant behaviour.  Simply put it is the draconian regime, it’s actions and its interpretation of the act by the GCC  which has caused the revolt. 

    There are those in the chiropractic profession who also feel very strongly that rather than the profession itself being ‘criminalised’ would want certain individuals on the GCC under investigation. 

    I am not certain that the registrar investigating the chairman or the chairman investigating the registrar will hack it. There has already been accusations of misconduct which seemed to have been  brushed under the carpet mentioned on this blog and accusations of this nature need to be transparently dealt with. 

    Therefore, If only half the stories posted here are true, I am sure many would happily see at least two of these individuals removed from their positions. Not sure of the viability of that for many reasons, but I know the feelings against the way the GCC is led and therefore functions is palpable throughout the chiropractic profession at home and abroad. 

     I feel that the joint letter to the GCC and the  individual major players in the GCC, will be a point of discussion internationally. Because of this those chiropractors involved in the GCC who may have failed in their duties of care and responsibility, well i am not see any of them picking up ‘ chiropractor of the year’ either nationally or internationally, any time soon and any talk of a ‘ gong’ for certain individuals would,  I am sure, be strongly opposed by the profession itself.

    What a sad state of affairs, I actually had great respect for some of these people, but that has very quickly slipped away.

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    If I want to go back on the regiser I am going to have to retrain?? Fantastic any excuse to do motion palpation with those cute scandinavian girls again. I could also teach some of the tutors how to adjust while I was there.

  • Barney

    Well put Eugene.

    The GCC has already lost a high percentage of cases well before this present onslaught. It is difficult to see them now because they are removed from the website quite quickly but earlier this year four out of four cases (and not the simple ‘Dr’ ones done on paper but often scheduled for days – expensive!) were dismissed.

    Referring to the HPC ringing the chiropodist, one colleague left the GCC after a day-late application for re-registration was rejected and was told they would have to retrain for four years!

    OK so a line has to be drawn but surely a fine or other sanction would suffice.

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    The GCC write and tell you might end up in jail if you come of the register and even imply that you are a chiropractor, The sent me four letters like this.

    Then there is the letter I recently saw threatening a chiropractor who is in this omnibus complaint and is about to retire.He can not resign from the register and if he does not pay the fee they will take legal action.

  • Eugene Pearce

    Hooray. Well done guys

    One good thing these can all be considered test cases, and we cant be accused of weak regulation (although I’m sure the Skeptics, oops, Bigots will try).

    If the GCC eventually loses such a high percentage of cases clearly it is a monumental waste of time and money, and someone should answer for that. I wonder what lambasting Crown Prosecution Service would get if they lost such a high percentage of cases.

    I long for world peace and regulation by the HPC. Our Clinics Chiropodist’s registration letter was lost in the post. She got a phone call asking whether she was going to register. I wonder if the GCC would do that. Also £150 (ish) per year, and slightly more laborious CPD, but a worthwhile sacrifice.

  • Paul

    Classic ‘Dr’ Jon

  • DrDavid

    Maybe, just maybe, common sense will out at the end of all this.
    I’ve never bothered using my honorary “Dr” title before, but I think I might now!

  • DrJon

    Disgraceful. He is clearly guilty of a breech of the code of ethics and unprofessional misuse of the protected title “Dr” in a sCAM medical setting.

  • http://www.chiropractorswarwick.co.uk Stefaan Vossen

    I wonder how the GCC could enforce the payment of register if the registrants subject to the mass complaints have not been recognised by certification to being members of the GCC…
    I also wonder how it would be enforced regardless…

  • Dr Bilbo Baggins

    A victory for common sense.

    I think, like many others in the chiropractic profession, there must be some changes made. The GCC seems to have moved from the sublime to the ridiculous in it’s function and interpretation. Maybe heads will roll, but if they don’t, I think it very unlikely the profession will sit back and accept the status quo.

    But we will have to wait and see.


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