I would not wish a GCC complaint on my worst enemy knowing the belligerent nature of the GCC. The process can last up to two years and really mess up a persons life. A patient has never made a complaint about me however, I have assisted many chiropractors facing Professional Conduct Committee hearings,and when I ran in the GCC elections I was nominated by five chiropractors who had ridiculous vexatious complaints dismissed at a cost to the GCC £268,730 and another £300,000 paid by insurers. The GCC did try and make the amount look less and got a high court order to identify “BONES” a chiropractor Richard Southam who had the audacity to suggest the GCC practised creative accounting.
Five complaints over £500,000 cost to the chiropractic profession, imagine what 500 complaints would do to insurance premiums of BCA chiropractors. Three of which are sitting on the GCC, Peter Dixon, David Byfield and Alan Breene. However that’s not the reason the complaints wont see the
light of day and its unfair to suggest these Council members might act improperly. Peter Dixon assured CHRE and the chiropractic profession that all committee members were chosen fairly and independently by the Appointment Commission. The Appointments Commission(AC) informed me is there was one person from the AC who would sit between Margaret Coats and Peter Dixon at the interviews to ensure everything was above board.
I know what you are thinking, but believe me you could not make this up and the GCC are more litigious than the BCA. Nevertheless the CHRE gave the GCC a glowing report for 2008 could it be that GCC vice chairman Judith Worthington was serving on the CHRE as well as the CHRE and GMC at the time? Perhaps they operate like the financial regulators you scratch my back and I will scratch yours.
The reason the sceptics complaint wont see the light of day is simple. When a chiropractor is subject to an investigation he does not have to pay registration fee. Thats £500,000 out of the GCC coffers. The GCC would not be able to pay the Committees members that would have to sit to on these hearings.
The profession has been saying for years “The GCC is not fit for purpose”. The GCC and other regulatory bodies are there to demonstrate to the public that the Department of Health has responded diligently to the Shipman enquiry and perhaps demonstrate to the GMC what could have been if they did not accept regulatory reform.
Because of the factions within the GCC the complainants should have focused on chiropractors Peter Dixon would like to throw the book at. then he dosen’t mess about and he has no problem providing misleading information to get himself out of a hole. The complaints should have been against people like me with big mouths who they want rid off. Ten complaints would have been enough for the GCC to make an example, but how would sceptics know who to go after and who would be on that particular hearing, its down to luck good or bad. With 500,000 complaints the sceptics have over cooked it and they will be filed away in the basement.
You don’t believe me, “Statutory duty” and all that bullshit! Read the blog, remember I was an elected member of the council. The GCC has history of not investigating cases when it suits them and provide misleading information in Freedom of Information requests. Half of the stuff is not even on the blog, letters of complaint from former GCC council members Dana Greene, Kevin Proudman who were not expelled from council only because they were allowed legal representation at their hearing. Peter Dixon learns fast, I was not allowed my solicitor at the hearing and was removed. 13 of the 20 council members voted for my removal. Allegations of bullying by former employee Maxine White etc etc.
I have made numerous complaints to no avail. When you make a complaint to the GCC, it will be investigated by Peter Dixon. As he is one of the people on the sceptics complaint, your complaint will be investigated by his deputy (it was Judith Worthington) and they will tell the CHRE everything is fantastic and CHRE will tell the Department of Health everything is fantastic and everybody’s lives happy ever after.
So I thought it was rather sweet of Andy Lewis to submit a Freedom of information request to the GCC
Requesting copies of:
1) any correspondence (letters or emails) between the GCC and the
British Chiropractic Association, or any of its officers or staff,
regarding Simon Singh and the current BCA libel case;
2) any communications you have made to your members that mention
the same case.
Andy you obviously have not read much of this blog. The President of the BCA Tony Metcalfe was one of the original appointed GCC council members. The GCC chairman Peter Dixon was president of the BCA for four years in the late 90s, while Tony Metcalf was President of the European Chiropractic Union. The two of them spent much time trying to convince me (AECC student President), to convince AECC students that registration with McTimoney was good for chiropractic.
I was removed from the GCC council for breach of GCC confidentiality for e-mailing Tony Metcalfe and the president of the UCA Frank McBride and president of the SCA Ross McDonald, because I believed the GCC chief executive Margaret Coats had lied to council members at a closed meeting.
I later withdrew this allegation on legal advice and accept the GCC Chief executive Margaret Coats did not lie and was simply mistaken when she said “there was no evidence that GCC executive officer Greg Price had made derogatory postings about chiropractors from the GCC server.
The main evidence against me to support Peter Dixons motion for my removal from the GCC in March 2008 was the e-mail I sent BCA president Tony Metcalf which he had forwarded to Peter Dixon.
I recently requested under Data Protection all the information the GCC was holding about me in relation to them instructing private investigators to spy on me. They sent me loads of stuff mostly about the removal hearing including my e-mail to Metcalfe. However the e-mail correspondence between GCC chairman Peter Dixon and BCA President Tony Metcalfe was not included. Presumably because they were corresponding in a private capacity and this correspondence would be seen as personal and not part of GCC files. Where did Peter Dixon get the copy of the statement I made at the removal hearing for the minutes. Frank McBride or Ross McDonald did not give it to him?
When I contacted Tony Metcalfe, I was pretty sure what he would do with my e-mail, but hoped his actions would anger BCA members who had voted for me to such an extent it would make a motion of no confidences unavoidable. With that in mind I informed Peter Dixon that I was going to blow the Whistle on his activities. Supporters on the council described it as “falling on my sword” the CHRE saw it as “We also commend the strong leadership that was displayed in promptly removing from Council a member who had committed a serious breach of governance”. They may also have commended Tony Metcalfe for his help in having me removed. Below is the correspondence between Tony Metcalfe and myself. The only question I would ask regarding his actions, did he act like a president of a Chiropractors Union or a member of the GCC?
On Feb 9, 2008 6:47 PM, Richard Lanigan wrote:
I called you today, I would like your opinion on what is in the profession best interests. We could meet for a drink next week.
I attached the e-mail I sent to all council members for his attention.
Sun 10/02/2008 19:14
As you know I have been a member of the GCC and know the code under which the Council and its members operate. I am not privy to the discussions at the GCC, which have obviously taken place to which you refer and hence can make no comment on them. This whole issue is one that must be dealt with by the members of the GCC who are au fait with the issues and debate.
As president of the BCA my role is to represent the views of the members of the association. My understanding is that you have chosen to leave the association voluntarily and so I would suggest that, for this reason, and for the reason of the inappropriateness of your disclosure of confidential Council business, that I am precluded from being involved.
I would suggest that you take this through the appropriate channels and not involve people outside of the Council to which you were elected.
On Feb 10, 2008 8:32 PM, Richard Lanigan wrote:
I have told Peter that I was contacting the President’s of the associations and whistle blowing if you like. I have taken the view that this is in the public interest and as most of my votes came from BCA members, many who have been treated badly by Margaret and Price they would expect you as their representative to act.
I have not taken this decision likely, there is no issue or debate she xxxx to council and council does not want the hassle. Margaret will be involved in setting up the new format for regulation and are you willing to take that risk. (I withdrew the allegation )
Tony Metcalfe BCA President sent Mon 11/02/2008 09:14
There are ways of dealing with these issues and the members of the GCC were elected to do just that. If all the others on the GCC do not agree with you then I would begin to ask questions of myself.
and that was it. None of the Information was passed on to the BCA membership. Ten BCA members led by Ian Smith called for a SGM as required by the M&As of the BCA. Tony Metcalfe prevaricated and delayed and eventually called a meeting however refused to call it a SGM presumably to avoid a confidence vote.
Why would the President of the BCA do this? Could it be because he has a modernist vision of chiropractic and he believes like Simon Singh that chiropractic as practiced by the majority of the profession is “BOGUS”? That posting is for another day.