“Regulators like the General Chiropractic Council have different and inconsistent methods of engaging with patients”

new GCC_edited-1 The article below appears in the Health Service Journal. I am not against regulation, I am against bad regulation. Regulation should be there to protect the people who use the service, not to settle interprofessional disputes, or  ex girlfriends with a grudge or for the anti CAM brigade.

I am not making excuses for chiropractors’ failings in relation to their websites. However chiropractors receive little or no undergraduate training in marketing, most Chiropractic colleges model their institutions on medical schools and in the UK doctors are not allowed to advertise their services to the public. The poor chiropractic graduate left to their own devices follows the American model whose first amendment says anything can goes. These complaints against chiropractors will not help chiropractic patients one bit, they will be used by an incompetent regulator to justify statutory self regulation and allow the medipractors to claim the right to represent UK chiropractic and become “consultants” in the NHS

Good regulation should be performed by the people who use the service period and keep the politicians and the eggheads out of the process. I asked Margaret Coats and Peter Dixon many times what evidence the had that patients were satisfied with the job they were doing they had none. There are signs that the anti CAM people are realising they are preaching to the converted at the GCC and Margaret Coats and Peter Dixon may send them Christmas Cards this year.

Confused patients appeal for simplified NHS regulation

26 November 2009 | By Dave West

Health profession regulators should standardise how they work, or even merge, to improve safety, patient groups have said.

There are nine professional regulators covering nurses, midwives, doctors, chiropractors, clinical dental staff, optometrists and opticians, osteopaths and chiropodists.

Regulators have different and inconsistent methods of engaging with patients

National Voices, which represents patient and user groups, said the “complex regulatory landscape” was hard to understand and put people off reporting complaints and concerns.

The organisation is publishing a report based on discussions with regulators and patient groups, with the backing of the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence.

It says: “Regulators have different and inconsistent methods of engaging with patients and their representatives in framing their overall approach, conducting their regulatory duties and eliciting patient experience and opinion. Are there too many professional conduct regulators?”

The report cites the Health Professions Council, which regulates 14 professions, as a possible example to follow. National Voices suggests the model could be applied to others such as the General Chiropractic Council, the General Dental Council and the General Optical Council.

The report also recommends regulators should adopt common approaches, for example in what triggers a professional conduct case. It suggests creating a single route for complaints. One phone number or website would simplify the system and information could be passed to the relevant body, it says.

National Voices chief executive Jeremy Taylor said many patients taking part in the research for the report did not even recognise the names of regulatory bodies.

Mr Taylor said: “Regulation is there to deal with things that are often life and death matters. If regulators rely on people complaining then it matters whether people have heard of them.”

Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence chief executive Harry Cayton said the organisation supported the idea of a “single regulatory act” to simplify the system. Such legislation would not necessarily merge regulators but would give them common rules, practices and language.

“There is no doubt the regulators feel uncomfortable they don’t have the same powers and they recognise it is difficult for the public to understand why there are differences,” he told HSJ.

Mr Cayton said there was no “great appetite” to merge, but added: “You can’t imagine it is a topic that won’t continue to be discussed over time.”

He said in general larger regulators were able to reduce their costs.

The regulators

General Chiropractic Council

General Dental Council

General Medical Council

General Optical Council

General Osteopathic Council

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland

Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

Health Professions Council

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