The BCA stood by as the GCC destroyed the chiropractic profession

June 18, 2009
By

coats-on-sun   I received an e-mail today asking how much did I think registration fees would have to be increased because of the complaints.

That would depend on whether the complaints are followed through and itemised by Zeno et al. Right now the co-ordinated messages coming from the GCC and BCA is these complaints are being taken seriously. In the BCA newsletter BCA president Tony Metcalfe (one of the principal architects of the GCC) is making all the right noises Sceptics want to hear. In the newsletter he states “The GCC as we all know has a statutory responsibility under its existing rules to investigate every complaint which is made to it however trivial it may seem” Anyone could see how ridiculous this situation is and how vulnerable this makes chiropractors in practice.

Zeno et al are not chiropractic patients are never likely to be, they  have simply  taken a leaf from Margaret Coats book to harass chiropractors who have not articulated how the practised clearly on their websites. If they were actually misleading patients and fleecing them surely we would have had a few parents supporting these complaints as they are the ones supposedly being exploiting.

The ridiculously low threshold for sending complaints to the PCC was a major factor in Richard Rumary’s resignation from the GCC in 2000. Tony Metcalfe can not claim ignorance of Richard Rumarys concerns, Tony was an appointed member of this GCC council although he failed to get back on when chiropractors were asked to vote for GCC members. Most of the GCC members on that council failed to get elected because of the vexatious cases that were coming before the PCC encouraged by the registrar Margaret Coats.

This was discussed at the first Council meeting I attended in September 2007. The legislation for chiropractors and osteopaths are almost identical. The Osteopaths legal advice was they could weed out vexatious cases at the Investigating Committee stage. I wanted the GCC to get the same legal advice as the Osteopaths. Margaret Coats choose not to get the same legal advice as the Osteopaths and got Robert Englehart QC to give his opinion on how to interpret the Chiropractic Act. The QCs conclusion were “That the Investigating Committee is correct to have taken the approach it has taken to date and should continue to do so”  Margaret Coats then informed Council members “that any change in the threshold for referral would require the necessary amendment to the Chiropractors ACT 1994 as a result of agreement with government as to what will be covered in the White Paper second section 60 order.

THis discussion took place almost 2 years ago. Unfortunately as it was just a few chiropractors who were having there lives ruined to justify the existence of the GCC no one did anything and I was removed from council. Six Hundred complaints threatens the existence of the GCC and now there is a sense of urgency about the section 60 and the GCC asks the Privy council to have it rushed through.

I would  remind everyone of the Main article in the news letter I produced, when I ran for election in 2007, vexatious complaints have been made against chiropractors from the day Margaret Coats sent Greg price to interview witnesses, the difference its no longer happening to a chiropractor you know, its happening to you.

The chiropractors who have nominated me for the GCC are members of different associations and represent the diversity of UK chiropractic. Michael Hutchinson and Monica Handa trained at AECC, Rod McMillan at McTimoney, Kola Akindele at Parker College and Desmond Pim graduated from Palmer in 1957. One thing they all have in common is that members of the public were encouraged to make vexatious complaints against them which were dismissed by the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC). These colleagues feel a great sense of injustice at the way £268,730 of GCC money was used to bring their professional integrity into question. If I include Luke Nitschke the total rises to £314,730. Some will say this is only six chiropractors. I say wait until it happens to you and you are innocent you will regret doing nothing for the rest

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of your professional life. I did warn the profession of this in 2002 when I distributed part of a report I had written for the BCA council after being the expert witness for a BCA member in one of the first cases to come before the PCC. If you have forgotten, it was called “How Much is this Body Politic Going to Cost us all”?

Far more chiropractors get charged by the regulators than osteopaths. If you think it could not happen to you, think again. These are colleagues who often reacted with outrage to the vexatious complaint and wrote a long response to the GCC. If the GCC consider the complaint lacks merit, they will go through the statement and notes with a fine tooth comb looking for other things to charge the chiropractor with.

This practice is described in the “Fitness to Practise Report” on page 24 “It is often the case that charges formulated by the Investigating Committee have a broader and/or different focus than the wording of the original complaint. This is because patients, in expressing their concerns, will not usually have detailed understanding of the Code of Practice and Standard of Proficiency to which chiropractors must adhere.” Chiropractors who have followed these case all say the same, “there but for the grace of God..!”

The “GCC relies on the Chief Executive & Registrar and other managers to establish and maintain standards of conduct and performance”. I am sure there are many chiropractors who will take pleasure from any difficulty the registrar of the GCC finds herself in as her authority is being questioned for the first time. Margaret Coats has written to Peter Dixon assuring him that she has made no postings on www.chiropracticlive.com.

However, someone at GCC HQ did post obscene defamatory messages on the site. Ms Coats was very close to Gregory Price who we know used anti-chiropractic internet forums to promote the GCC. Ms Coats has denied any knowledge of Price’s internet activity to me, unfortunately I find this hard to believe as Price testified to the PCC that he ran everything by Ms Coats.

On the other hand, did Price lie to the PCC and have some other agenda like perverting the course of justice for accused chiropractors? If so, the GCC need to review every case he was involved in. Peter Dixon has asked me to act in a “responsible manner” and give Ms Coats the benefit of the doubt.

Did Margaret Coats give the benefit of doubt to Michael Hutchinson when a complaint after a free spinal check that was dismissed by the police and the BCA landed on her door step? No, she put on her hobnail boots and with her foot soldiers trampled all over the integrity of a good man. Michael endured 18 months of stress. The PCC dismissed the complaint in January 2005 at a cost to the GCC of £ 40,895 not to mention defence costs. Michael is still waiting for an apology from the GCC.

Did she give the benefit of doubt to Kola Akindele when a complaint was made by a women who wanted money back for a couple of visits her husband had some months previously? Did she take account of the racist comments the complainant made in front of witnesses? No, she put on her hobnail boots and with her foot soldiers trampled all over the integrity of a good man. He endured 18 months of stress and developed high blood pressure. The PCC dismissed the complaint in September 2004. It cost the GCC £30,260 but there were no defence costs because Kola defended himself. By way of apologising the GCC went searching his rubbish bins and are in the process of bringing new charges because a receptionist did not shred a few sign in sheets and an incorrect invoice.

Did she give the benefit of doubt to Rod MacMillan when a person with a long criminal record of questionable character made a complaint? No, she put on her hobnail boots and with her foot soldiers trampled all over the integrity of a good man, he endured 24 months of stress. The PCC dismissed the complaint in May 2005 at a cost to the GCC of £ 96,000 not to mention defence costs. Rod is still waiting for an apology from the GCC.

Did she give the benefit of doubt to Luke Nitschke when a women complained about the manner of the Australian chiropractor after a initial consolation? No, she put on her hobnail boots and with her foot soldiers trampled all over the integrity of a good man he endured 18 months of stress. The PCC dismissed the complaint in October 2005 at a cost to the GCC of £46,000 not to mention defence costs. Luke is still waiting for an apology from the GCC.

Did she give the benefit of doubt to Monica Handa when a women complained that she had been kept waiting for an appointment? No, she put on her hobnail boots and with her foot soldiers trampled all over the integrity of a good woman. Monica endured 24 months of stress including being accused of defaming Gregory Price for saying that she “found it stressful talking to him and had the distinct impression he thought you were guilty until proven innocent”. The PCC dismissed the complaint in March 2006 at a cost to the GCC of £63,849 not to mention defence costs. Monica is not waiting for an apology from the GCC.

Did she give the benefit of doubt to Desmond Pim when a women complained that she had not been contacted promptly after a visit? No she put on her hobnail boots and with her foot soldiers trampled all over the integrity of a good man. Desmond endured 18 months of stress. The PCC dismissed the complaint in April 2006 at a cost to the GCC of £ 30,302 not to mention defence costs. Desmond is still waiting for an apology from the GCC.

I have not been able to find one chiropractor who has any sympathy for Margaret Coats or who is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. She can squeal all she likes to Peter Dixon but from where I am standing Ms Coats seems to be the problem rather than the solution to recent GCC problems. With elections on, it will be very interesting to see if any chiropractic members of council line up in support of Ms Coats in the coming weeks.

Now the GCC have 600 vexatious complaints. The GCC and BCA know that most of the complaints have not been itemised and could not be used as evidence in a PCC hearing, they are not specific to each registrant. The GCC will provide a solicitor for the complainant (Zeno) to itemise each complaint and see evidence of his allegation. I estimate this could cost anything up to £6,000,000 which the GCC does not have. That would be approx £2,500 extra for each registrant to pay. If I know the GCC and the BCA they will do nothing banking on the fact Zenos (who no doubt has lots of spare time on his hands), does not have about 3,000 spare hours to write 600 complaints, and he probably has not kept the evidence of what each website looked like when he made the complaint, because if he has not any sensible chiropractor would say it was not their website. One of the complaints is there because Zeno states “its a crap site” hardly evidence of a breach of the code of practise”.

If Zeno does particularise the complaints the GCC could take the Osteopaths legal advice in which case, they will have to force Margaret Coats out and have to pay her compensation for constructive dismissal which may be why she has remained in the eye of the storm when the vast majority wanted to see the back of her, in fact Peter Dixon is the only person I know who supported her

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Related posts:

  1. Margaret Coats could care less about the chiropractic profession
  2. GCC chair Peter Dixon fiddles while Chiropractic burns
  3. All they want is to have me apologise to Margaret Coats for all the things I have said about her
  4. Zenos original complaint against BCA chiropractors
  5. How to Complain about the GCC and not upset Peter Dixon or Margaret Coats
  6. It should be obvious to the GCC that these are vexatious cases
  7. Margaret Coats reputation! What reputation?
  8. Chiropractic Patients Association have no confidence in the GCC
  9. How the General Chiropractic Council Conducts an investigation
  10. Despite what BCA president says Margaret Coats is going nowhere

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