This are the General Chiropractic Council’s answers ( in red) to my Freedom of Information request relating to their dealings with the Sceptics complaints and the financial relationship BCA president Richard Brown has with the GCC.
1. How many of the complaints made by Alan Hennes and Simon Perry have gone before the Investigating Committee? The GCC considers complaints by individuals as part of its regulatory duties as contained within the chiropractors act 1994. As such the GCC considers that this information is exempt under section 31 (2) OF THE foia AND SECTION 40 (5) (B) (i) of the FOIA . I take that to mean none, because as the next answer will show the IC only met 9 times in 2009. For 2010 there are 25 IC meetings already scheduled and more to be added when the GCC have finished soliciting complaints.
2. How many times did the Investigating Committee convene in 2009? 9 Times
3. How much was paid to IC members for IC meetings in 2009? £19,650
4. How many meetings are scheduled for the IC in 2010? At present 25 meetings are scheduled but a higher number will be required and scheduled during the year. In 2008 the IC received 26 complaints which cost £18,100 for the IC. In 2007 the IC received 22 complaints costing £21,450 In 2010 the Investigating Committee will receive at least 700 complaints so the initial cost should be in the region £700,000 which the GCC can handle since they managed to change the chiropractic act so chiropractors would pay registration fees while under investigation and they probably wont investigate some of the silly cases this year like dog hairs on the clinic floor. The problem arises if cases are refered to the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC)
5. Has the GCC written to Alan Hennes or Simon Perry asking them to include other chiropractors in their complaint? The GCC considers complaints by individauls as part of its regulatory duties as contained within the chiropractors act 1994. As such the GCC considers that this information is exempt under section 31 (2) OF THE FOIA AND SECTION 40 (5) (B) (i) of the FOIA. Simon Perry says he has not received a request from the GCC however I have seen a letter from the GCC asking Alan Hennes to include non BCA members working in a practice in the original complaint. We will only know how many were added when the final figure of complaints is made public.
6. How many chiropractors were named in the original complaint by Mr Perry and Mr Hennes ?The GCC considers complaints by individauls as part of its regulatory duties as contained within the chiropractors act 1994. As such the GCC considers that this information is exempt under section 31 (2) OF THE FOIA AND SECTION 40 (5) (B) (i) of the FOIA. When all this started in the summer they were talking about 500 complaints now the talk is in the 600’s and non BCA chiropractors have started to receive letters of complaint from other sceptics. However as most Mctimoney, SCA and UCA chiropractors have altered their websites I would not expect them to find to many more and the final figure will be about 700.
7. How many chiropractors were subsequently complained about and added to Mr Perrys or Mr Hennes list at a later date?The GCC considers complaints by individauls as part of its regulatory duties as contained within the chiropractors act 1994. As such the GCC considers that this information is exempt under section 31 (2) OF THE FOIA AND SECTION 40 (5) (B) (i) of the FOIA.
8. How much did Robert Bateman’s case cost the GCC? £51,000 This was a case where the GCC failed to present any evidence.
9. How much did Bridget Gilmore’s case cost the GCC? £31,570 The cat hairs on the floor.
10. How Much did Marc Cashley’s case cost the GCC? £13,525 This case is similar to the sceptics complaints. A chiropractors website designer mistakenly made reference to chiropractic helping deafness and blindness on the basis of DD Palmers having helped Harvey Lillard. The chiropractor admitted the charges in that; he failed to ensure the that the content of the website was appropriate and in accordance with the GCCs code of practice and he failed to properly scrutinise the content of his website during bits construction and thereafter. The Professional Conduct committee concluded that this amounted to unprofessional conduct and admonished the chiropractor. If 700 chiropractors are to come before the PCC, it would cost in the region of £10,000,000 based on these costs. I think this senario is most unlikely as the GCC would have to increase registration fees five fold to cover the cost and I can not see chiropractors paying £5,000 to be registered. So what are chiropractors going to do?
11. Did the GCC increased its mortgage in 2009? The GCC did not increase its mortgage loan in 2009. Any changes can be seen in the GCC annual financial statement which are posted on the website. This confident answer tell me the GCC is not under financial pressure and they have a solution.
If these cases were to go through it would probably destroy the BCA because a GCC conviction would activate an excess clause in the BCA insurance policy which would mean all these BCA chiropractors would have to pay £10,000 towards any future complaints. This and the Simon Singh fiasco, means many members would probably leave, which would be the end of the BCA the GCC’s principle supporter. By spreading the load of complaints to include other associations the GCC the GCC is easing the pressure on the BCA. My insurance is provided by the BCAs former insurers MIA, the tell me the policy covers all charges brought by a regulator, so I am a little suspicions when the BCA tell their members that the sceptics complaints are not covered under the BCA policy . They told their members this is because no “medical malpractice has been alleged” ?? The BCA president went on to say “BCA council has given very serious consideration to the implications of this matter. It takes its responsibility for the wellbeing and support of its members very seriously (failing to mention why they changed insurers when the old policy covered them). Consequently the BCA will be providing support to those members who are required to defend their position, by assisting in drafting “individual” responses to be submitted to the GCCs investigating committee. Depending on the merits of the case and at the discretion of the BCA, a funded legal resource will be available for any complaints that are referred to the Professional Conduct Committee”. I guess that means the old boys club will look after their own, and those they don’t like will be left to fend for themselves.
12. How much has the GCC paid BCA president Richard Brown for expert witness for testimony? The GCC considers this to be a subject access request for personal data. The GCC considers this request is exempt under section 10 of the Data Protection Act.
13. How much has the GCC paid Richard Brown for audits of clinics under conditions of practice orders? The GCC considers this to be a subject access request for personal data. The GCC considers this request is exempt under section 10 of the Data Protection Act.
14. How much has the GCC paid experts in,2006,2007,2008,2009? £59,147; £69,478; ££70,425; and £63,671 I would guess this all went to BCA members and the BCA president Richard Brown had the lions share. When he was not acting for the GCC he was acting for BCA members which brought in more money. I am aware of two cases where he was “independent expert” and curiously changed his opinion towards the GCC view of the case. He e-mailed me his explanation I was not convinced.
15. Has the GCC ever subpoenaed a complainant to testify? The GCC has requested that a notice of requirement to to attend be issued by the PCC on more than one occasion. Now if the GCC were to go ahead with 700 complaints, Alan Hennes or Zeno would have to attend each hearing and testify. Unless he has nothing to do for 700 days thats not going to happen. Therfore these cases will be heard “under papers”, without witness and lawyers behind closed doors, gets the GCC off the hook, gets the BCA off the hook, gets Zeno off the hook leaving possibly 60, 70 the BCA and GCC dont like to be thrown to the wolves. I have heard a rumour the GCC and the BCA have agreed the wording of the findings and the sanction which will be an admonishment and I have been promised a copy of the text.
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#1 Paul on 3.17.2010 at 10:25 AM
- “How are the General Chiropractic Council and the British Chiropractic Association going to deal with Zeno’s complaints?”
Good question. Answer: Not with Integrity.
“How much has the GCC paid experts in,2006,2007,2008,2009? £59,147; £69,478; ££70,425; and £63,671 I would guess this all went to BCA members and the BCA president Richard Brown had the lions share. When he was not acting for the GCC he was acting for BCA members which brought in more money. I am aware of two cases where he was “independent expert” and curiously changed his opinion towards the GCC view of the case. He e-mailed me his explanation I was not convinced.”
How did this guy get into such a rewarded position and why?
PS came across this:
- #2 Richard Lanigan on 3.17.2010 at 12:27 PM
- Intersting article. I amuses me the way it has always been presented as David and Goliath. When Simon Singh would have had much more resources at his disposal than the BCA had.
Zeno is down there in the comments taking his bows, I hope he will tell us if he is going to turn up and tesify at all the hearings. I wonder when the penny will drop and they realise the joke is on them and the regulator.
- #3 Nico M on 3.17.2010 at 1:19 PM
- It’s a pretty poor stab at something he doesn’t really understand. The Brit’s love an underdog, but they don’t love privileged silver spoon Oxford graduates or smart-ass know it alls, so it suits to present the case in this way.
- #4 Paul on 3.17.2010 at 9:25 PM
- The question still standing out is how did Richard Brown get into such a rewarded position and why?
- #5 Dale on 3.18.2010 at 8:05 AM
- I am a chiropractor who has been very supportive of the GCC in the past. However, the way they are handling these complaints makes me reconsider. It is now possible that chiropractors will find themselves found guilty of professional misconduct for following the example set by the GCC in their own leaflets and websites. This raises the question are the GCC fit for purpose?
Interstingly if chiropractors suffer a loss of reputation or financial loss for following the GCCs example/advice it may open up the possibility of legal action or even a class action against the GCC.
- #6 Richard Lanigan on 3.18.2010 at 1:39 PM
- Hi Dale,
A few have tried its fery difficult to get everybody on the same page.
This case will suggest that dishonest chiropractors were trying to take advantage of all those parents withy colicky babies, when everybody know all they can do is treat back pain. The question is will the DOH applause Peter Dixon and Margaret Coats for this.
Did you vote in the GCC confidence survey in 2006?
- #7 fed up on 3.20.2010 at 7:34 PM
- I have just watched a very interesting clip of "Rock-star physicist" Brian Cox explaining physics. What I found most interesting is that Rutherford said all science is physics or stamp collecting, so most science skeptics unless they are physicist in Rutherford’s eyes are no better than stamp collectors. What I also found most amusing is that the top form of science that uses Newton’s law has an equation that lets you work almost anything out. Though this equation has one flaw. The letter H in the equation stands for Higgs particles. Now Higgs particles haven’t yet been found, as yet they don’t exist except as a prediction!!! Scientists use analogies to describe how a Higgs particle works (if it exists at all).
So skeptics think science is the be all and end all of everything, they think science can explain everything and if science can’t explain it, it can’t be real. But here we have the top level of science, a Law by Newton, that contains parts of an equation that contain particles or something that they made up, they can’t find or doesn’t exist, because without it the equation doesn’t work.
The Higgs particle is explained by an analogy because its not real (that has to be the case if it’s not been found or proved by a RCT) yet it forms the basis of Newtons Law.
I have recently discovered a particle, I can’t prove it exist but I have a good analogy.
It’s called the subluxation particle. If I have to prove this is real, as the subluxation particle has to be there or chiropractic wouldn’t work, to make skeptics happy, then I expect nothing more from these bloggin skeptics than to demand proof that Higgs particles exist or at very least complain to the ASA about Mr Brian Cox lectures.