Since I was president of the AECC student union 93/95, my political priority has always been the same, to ensure colleagues, students and patients are treated fairly. I will always support people who have not been treated fairly. My record in this respect is second to none.
Students and colleagues in trouble often contact me asking for advice. A few years ago a student was unfairly suspended from AECC. She asked for my help. I represented her at the disciplinary hearing and the case was dismissed.
It would be nice to advise chiropractors to trust the process. Unfortunately it is more like a lottery dependent on who you get on the panel. I am not affiliated to a chiropractic association, which is an advantage. Regulating the profession should not be concerned with political agendas, it is about treating chiropractors and members of the public fairly and with respect.
In 2005 the Chairman of the GCC did not win a vote of confidence. In 2006 a survey estimated that 77.1 % of profession had no confidence in the GCC. In December 2006 the Chiropractic Patients Association endorsed the survey findings. Chiropractors who give me their first preference vote are stating that they have no confidence in the present council to protect the public and promote the profession.
The chiropractors who have nominated me, are from different associations and represent the diversity of UK chiropractic. Michael Hutchinson and Monica Handa trained at AECC, Rod McMillan at McTimoney, Kola Akindele at Parker College and Desmond Pim, graduated from Palmer in 1957. One thing they all have in common, is that members of the public were encouraged to make vexatious complaints against them which were dismissed by the professional conduct committee (PCC). These colleagues feel a great sense of injustice at the way £268,730 of GCC money was used to bring their professional integrity into question.
Richard Rumary’s warnings were ignored when he resigned from the GCC in 2000. Fortunately the internet made it possible to keep information alive. In 2006 GCC solicitors demanded the removal of 20 of my postings from a discussion forum www.chiropractic-uk.info The GCC also alleged that 17 members of the forums were “defaming” two GCC officers and wanted them identified. Turned out one of these members was a GCC officer who was also posting derogatory messages about registered chiropractors on anti chiropractic websites. On reflection the GCC decided they only wanted three members identified. The punishment; a visit to the GCC office. Cost to GCC £51,187.
I can not promise to change anything, the promise I will make is that I will always ask the questions that need to be asked.
Before talking about change and the important issues relevant to chiropractic, the profession must have confidence in our regulatory body. To achieve this we need
1) An independent body is required to investigate complaints against members and officers of Council;
2) Deliberations of GCC committees and all council meetings should be minuted and available for public scrutiny;
3) It is not appropriate to have a medical pharmacist chair the PCC;
4) Promotion! The role of the GCC is not to turn chiropractic into a medical specialty. I have competed and worked with elite athletes since 1980, my 20 year old son is a professional tennis player; chiropractic can have a major role to play in elite performance, health and wellbeing. I also have three children under four who are extremely healthy and “drug free”.
5) Most chiropractors have their spines checked regularly; however pre-payment schemes are open to abuse and it is not acceptable and damages the profession to coerce members of the public into chiropractic care.