The General Chiropractic Council is not fit for purpose, how many times do chiropractors need to be told this before they act?

September 14, 2010

coats on sun It is fair to say having a complaint made against you that alleges you are guilty of “professional incompetence” must be pretty stressful. Margaret Coats and her team of Rottweiler’s spend 18 months putting a case together. Then some months ago they would have allocated three days in September for the hearing, appointed a panel and a legal assessor to hear the case.

The chiropractor instructs a solicitor, spends months preparing his defence, takes a week of work books into a hotel in London arrives for the hearing at the GCC head office prepared to defend his professional reputation only to be told:  

Dr Scott,
At the outset of the hearing the GCC informed the Committee that it would not be offering any evidence in relation to Particulars 5(b) and 6 of Allegation A and Allegation B in its entirety. The Committee therefore found those matters not proved.
At the close of the evidence from Patient A, the Committee were invited by the GCC to use
its powers under Rule 6(7) of the GCC’s Professional Conduct Committee Rules 2000 to
dismiss the outstanding Particulars of Allegation A. The Committee considered that
insufficient evidence had been adduced to satisfy it that the Allegation could be well founded
and it therefore finds the Allegation not proved.
That concludes the case. (and you can fuck off, or sentiments to that effect) signed:
Chairman of the Professional Conduct Committee

No one is responsible for wasting your time, not one is responsible for taking 18 months out of your life and bring untold misery upon your family. This has been going on now for 10 years and chiropractors pay their registration fees every Christmas like the proverbial turkeys and do nothing thinking it wont happen to them and now it has happened to the majority of chiropractors they respond by keeping their heads down.

Margaret Coats will say these case come before the Professional Conduct Committee because the PCC have to sit when the Investigating Committee decide there is a case to answer. The Osteopaths do not interpret their act in this manner, the GCC interprets the act this way, because Margret Coats went and got a legal opinion which stated “case to answer” rather than seeking the legal opinion the Osteopaths got which would have enabled the IC to weed out cases like Alan Scotts and the skeptics vexatious complaints. I was the only person on council to question this legal advice, to be told this opinion was from an eminent QC, to which I remarked opinions are like noses, we all have one.

Same thing happened Nils Hallin in August the GCC made an allegation and did not have the evidence to back it up

not much evidence either against Jonathan Sharp earlier  in August

These cases against innocent chiropractors will be rightly removed from the GCC website in a few weeks, however chiropractors looking at the proved cases on the GCC website should not forget that Margaret Coats way of bringing these cases to the IC has brought untold misery to as many inocent chiropractors and there is a better way of doing it as the osteopaths have shown.  Margaret Coats enthusiasm for bring cases to the PCC is legendary and now they are  threatening a witness’s who don’t wish to continue with her complaint against a chiropractor with a fine of £5,000. 

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3 Responses to The General Chiropractic Council is not fit for purpose, how many times do chiropractors need to be told this before they act?

  1. Richard Lanigan on September 20, 2010 at 17:00

    The majority of registered chiropractors have to find their common ground and present a united front to the regulator regarding their demands. The BCA and the Alliance have to work it out their differences and find common ground, or say we are not one profession, in which case the Alliance and BCA members should be regulated as seperate professions by the Health Professional Council who regulated a number of different professions.

    I can see the GCC presenting this vote of confidence as a rogue element within the BCA, believing they have the Alliance on side now they have given ground on subluxation. That was my big concern about that meeting in September, the GCC needed breathing space and the Alliance has helped them.

    The members of the Alliance should now move to also call for votes of confidence in the GCC. The funny thing is even though these votes are from a much smaller group than the previous vote of confidence it caries much more political weight.

    If the associations can work together for a common purpose, then the question is what gives chiropractors leverage with the GCC. Money, the registration fee, so fees could put into an escrow fund and the leaders and the CPA negotiate with the regulator, the GCC could approach the Privy council for an amendment to the chiropractic to allow these negotions to complete as they did when defering registration fees for chiropractors under investigation.

    Presumably the profession would want rid of Coats and Dixon and other members with a history of political activism, its for chiropractors to decide what they want and what a chiropractic profession is.

  2. Rosemary on September 20, 2010 at 14:52

    Dear Richard,
    Bearing in mind your headline “the GCC is not fit for purpose. How many times do chiropractors need to be told this before they act?” what would you like to see chiropractors do? All deregister? Refuse to pay their registration fees? Send in a SWAT team?

    What would you like to see happen?

    I get the impression that you’re not impressed by the newly formed Alliance.

    We certainly have a cause but what are we going to do about it? What would anyone else like to see happen?

  3. Alan on September 20, 2010 at 14:14

    Hi Richard

    Thanks for that summing up of my case.

    To say I’m not impressed would be an understatement. The GCC knew for weeks that they would not be offering any evidence in two thirds of the allegations they made up against me. They could offer no evidence because their expert witness backed up most of the things I said. Despite that and after many emails, letters etc by my solicitor to the GCC’s legal team they still refused to reduce the length of the hearing from four days. So I had to take a whole week off work for nothing. When we got to the hearing the legal assessor asked my legal team why it was slated for so long!!

    Then after only two hours, basically the complainant gave his evidence that was pretty much what was in his statement, the GCC barrister approached mine and proposed to withdraw the case as it was clear there was no case to answer and their expert witness felt he could not give evidence given the comments that the complainant made.

    So a case that should never have been brought was over in two hours. I believe that had the Investigating committee read and interpreted the complainant’s statement correctly, had they asked him to clarify a few points in his statement and importantly had they sought expert advice before deciding to proceed this could have been avoided. Also if they had a mechanism to review and dismiss a case as more evidence comes to light they could have saved themselves and me a lot of stress and worry and cost. Indeed like other cases Richard has commented on the complainant in my case wrote to the GCC pretty much wanting to pull out but had it gone so far that he was told he would have to appear. It seems they take no responsibility for their actions and at minimum they should be made liable for the Chiropractors costs if he is found not guilty. That might make them consider the cases they bring more carefully. I wonder what review process they use to improve the standard of cases they bring?

    So yes, I am angry to say the least. And to top it all the way they word the findings make it seem that I could have been guilty but they did not manage to get enough on me, rather than holding their hands up and saying there was no case to answer.

    But mine was nowhere near a bad as the one before me where the GCC legal team were, I have heard, wrong on several points of law and had to be corrected. So the GCC have lost three cases in the past month and even worse have brought cases that did not have any public protection issues and did not serve to uphold the integrity of the profession.


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