Investigating complaints

What Peter Dixon told McTimoney chiropractors and the reality.

by The Chiropractor on Sun 10 Dec 2006 07:42 PM GMT

Peter Dixon spoke at the McTimoney college on December 10 2006. He was asked; What mechanism are there for ordinary chiropractors to get their concerns addressed by GCC council?

Peter told the assembled group thst he was willing to accept phone calls to him personally, or via the GCC office. Chiropractors could phone him or Margaret coats. He said he takes seriously what people tell him and he wants to be available to chiropractors. (Sounds fantastic, what a man to have as chairman)

Peter went on to say  “The GCC has no agenda other than ensuring safe and competent chiropractic for patients. When you are a GCC Council member, you do not represent a constituency and I have no truck with people promoting their individual interests”. (Exactly what chiropractors wnat to hear)

Unfortunatly the reality is very different. This is how it was for a fellow council member having asked Peter and failed, I went to all council members, to try and get my concerns addressed on January 31 2008.

Dear All,

Having received another letter yesterday telling me what’s off limits to Council members, I was thinking how ludicrous it would be if chiropractors were allowed to have friends investigate complaints made against them. Allegations were being made for years about Mr Greg Price and to my knowledge not one was upheld, he left the GCC without a blemish on his character. Nevertheless, complaints keep arising about him further eroding chiropractors’ confidence in the GCC and will continue until there is an independent investigation into the activities of Mr Price. 

Dana Green’s letter and now Rod MacMillan’s raise a number of concerns in relation to Mr Price’s activities as an “executive officer” of the GCC. We are collectively responsible for Council’s actions.  A matter of such importance must be included as an agenda item for the closed meeting on Feb 8 2008. I asked Peter when I received Dana’s letter and now I am asking Council members to request to be given the opportunity to ask questions about the risk posed to Council by Mr Price’s actions and if that risk has been managed to Council members’ satisfaction by Margaret Coats

Rod McMillan’s letter referred to a complaint I made in 2002. It was about a “high volume” chiropractor and Mr Price decided not to present the complaint to the Investigating Committee (IC). Apparently, Mr Price had concerns that I had not got the patient’s permission to contact the GCC and the four UK chiropractic associations and did not pursue the case with his usual enthusiasm. I have been told that a police investigation took place last year and a GCC member of staff was questioned into allegations about Mr Price, among the allegations were that he solicited money from respondents to make complaints go away. Today I asked Margaret if any of this was true. She asked me why I wanted to know and I responded that I believed Council members should be informed. Without giving me any answer, she then told me she would pass my question on to Peter for him to answer. (Peter Dixon said the police had not questioned GCC staff, the police say they did)

Peter assures us “Mr McMillan’s complaint will be dealt with in accordance with GCC procedure”. What he does not say is that none of Mr McMillan’s allegations are new to him. In fact, Peter and Margaret completed their investigation into how Mr Price dealt with my complaint weeks ago and found that it was acceptable for Mr Price not to pass my complaint to the IC even though this seems to be a clear breach of the procedure as was explained to new Council members during our training. We were told that all complaints went to the IC and it was not for the office to raise questions about the validity of a complaint, that was the job of the IC. If the office had concerns that the patient’s permission had not been sought, why were those concerns not investigated, as opposed to being left in a file for years until I became a member of Council? 

If it was all above board why did Mr Price state in two Freedom of Information responses that “the Investigating Committee was unable to take matters further” and that “Information regarding matters considered by the Investigating Committee are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000” when in fact the IC had never even seen the complaint?

Peter and Margaret have taken the view that as they can no longer ascertain “what was in Mr Price’s mind to make such statement”, there was nothing more to be done.  I find their “bygones” attitude to Mr Price’s actions very much at odds with their attitude to remarks made by me before I was elected onto Council. A  GCC person makes obscene comments about me using the pseudonym  “Cognitio” and the GCC have nothing to say, definitely no apology. This GCC person claims to be a registered chiropractor in breach of section 32 of the Chiropractic Act and the GCC invoke data protection to protect this person’s identity allowing this person to pursue a career at another regulatory body. However, if a criminal act has been committed then the Data Protection Act does not apply.

If the GCC is to start regaining the confidence of the profession they need to stop covering for Cognitio and Greg Price. The chiropractic profession is not against being regulated, they are against the way Greg Price performed that duty and the way others turned a blind eye. As Council members we are taking collective responsibility for these decisions, I believe it’s for all members of Council to decide with legal advice how to deal with the allegations that have been made against Mr Price, not a few of his friends.

Yours sincerely

Richard Lanigan

Peters Response was:The matters that you refer to in this e-mail are all being dealt with properly by me as the chairman. I hope that you are not trying to undermine my authority as Chairman, and I take exception to your impugning both my integrity and that of the Chief executive in this way.

The matter was not discussed at the next council meeting and I was off council within four weeks of my e-mail

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