All the charges were droped against Bridget Gilmore today in what must be the most ridiculous case to ever come before the PCC. It has taken the GCC four years to put Bridget out of her misery because a former receptionist with an axe to grind contacted Greg Price at the GCC and with Margaret Coats helped to help make Bridgets life miserable four four years. Bridget did not even get an apology from Margaret Coats, who can now audition for one of those “How clean is your house programs.
These are the charges which were on the GCC website and took four years to collect. I should point out the only charges Bridget had to answer were about the cats hair on the carpet, as her notes were found to be of good standard. If Margaret Coats had supplied the cat har remover she could have saved the GCC £80,000
Between August 2000 and March 2004 you practiced as a chiropractor at the Chiropractic Health Care Clinic at 23 Montgomerie Crescent, Saltcoats, KA21 5BT (“the Clinic”);
On occasions between around July 2002 and March 2004 you did not maintain
adequate standards of hygiene or appearance of the areas of the Clinic to which
patients had access in that:
(a) Animal hair was present on the carpets;
There were cat paw marks around the toilet seat used by patients;
You permitted domestic animals to enter:
I) areas to which patients had access;
II) rooms in which treatment was provided to patients;
(d) Animal faeces was present in the x-ray room on two occasions;
On occasions between around July 2002 and March 2004 you handled domestic animals and then did not wash your hands prior to treating patients.
And, in the light of the facts and matters alleged above, you are guilty of unacceptable professional conduct
Here is Bridgits own story which she posted in April of last year.
So here I am…exonerated. As I sit in my private living room, of my home/office, with a glass of wine, dog snoozing on the couch and a cat purring under my arm as I type, it has yet to sink in that I have run the gauntlet and am a free woman!
First, let me say that the actual hearing by PCC was the least painful part of the entire process that has lasted damn near 4 years. After my experiences with Margaret Coats and then Greg Price, I sincerely expected a truly nasty encounter with the PCC. In contrast, what I got was a panel that listened, evaluated, asked questions that showed they had, indeed, been listening to the testimony, and finally, found me innocent of all charges. So let me make it clear ~ my problem is NOT with the PCC.
HOWEVER ~~~ we should all be asking: HOW DID THES CASE EVER MAKE IT AS FAR AS THE PCC? IS THIS HOW OUR MONEY IS BEING SPENT???
Background to the case: DW was a male employee in the clinic I took over under TUPE regulations in 2001, after (me) working in the clinic since August 2000. DW had been there for 12 years at that point. The biz went great guns the first year, trebling the income. However, by the 2nd year things weren’t the same. In April of ’03 my father passed away and I spent 2 weeks in Italy for his funeral and all things associated with a death. It transpired that during that time (and who knows when else) DW had informed the patients that I had been practicing illegally, been kicked out of the country, and wasn’t coming back.
In July of the same year DW was overheard during a phone conversation saying ‘ that sounds like sciatica, it just needs a good massage, let me give you a number’ and giving out his home phone number, from which premises his wife did massage! I phoned my solicitors for advice and, when he returned from lunch, suspended him.
Long story short (well, I shall try anyway): he never returned to work and on 17 March ’04 was fired for Gross Misconduct. This followed complaints by a number of patients, vendors, and him placing an ad in Thompson’s Directory under the heading CHIROPRACTORS for his wife, a massage therapist. So this period was fraught with trying to get him to come to an appeal and then disciplinary hearing/s.
During this time he also took me to Employment Tribunal 3 times! The first for 4 things, he won 2 and I won 2. The main point being that he wanted 7 weeks holiday. I offered him 5. At tribunal they awarded him 5 weeks and 4 days. He then took me to tribunal for a week of unpaid holiday; the decision was "NO CASE TO ANSWER". In other words, I won. Shortly thereafter, he filed another tribunal for unfair dismissal. He was, rightfully, counselled by his solicitors to drop it when I/we said we were confident of a win and would be countersuing for ‘substantial monies’. He dropped the case.
Two short weeks later the complaint landed on the desk of the GCC.
The initial ‘complaint’ consisted of the following:
-That I was driving without a license. I did/do have a valid DL. Therefore: A LIE.
-That I never had my X-ray machine checked. I sent receipts and a letters from both NRPB and HA West proving that it was checked, maintained, and otherwise up to scratch. Therefore: A LIE.
That when Dr Cox owned the practice she insisted the machine be checked quarterly (every 3 months), at a cost of £750 each time. Again, letters stating this wasn’t true. Therefore: A LIE.
That since I took over the business had been ‘going downhill’. I provided a letter from my accountant that this was certainly not the case. A LIE.
That I did not have a VISA and therefore no right to work here. I provided a letter from Home Office stating that this was not the case. That I had every right to live and work here. It also contained an apology and was copied to the GCC. A LIE.
He had told patients that I was gone, had been practicing illegally and wasn’t returning. I have patient letters testifying to this. Again: A LIE.
I could go on, but you get the idea. DW was out to sabotage me. He even told another local DC that he was ‘holding out for the big bucks’.
We were notified that he dropped his unfair dismissal case on 18 August. I received his compliant from the GCC on 28 August, the GCC had received it 2 weeks prior to that…so he was all ready to go, eh?
But let me back up. He also made the complaints about my animals in the practice. That there was ‘copious’ shedding from my dog and that he had ‘made various deposits’. And that patients had made complaints about ‘cat paw marks around the patient toilet’ and also made complaints (all to him, might I add) that I did not wash my hands after handling the animals.
He went on to say that I regularly left my knickers on the radiators during patient hours and that ‘various boyfriends’ (I should be so lucky) wandered through in their robes, with their bacon and eggs. All during patient hours! Firstly, let me say that you would never find my ‘smalls’ on the radiator. I’m not so small. And you would DEFINATLEY not see my ‘larges’ there!
And through all this runs the fact that DW had total access to the property: 24/7. He had keys to the building. On Mondays and Wed’s he started at 9, patients didn’t start until 1. I was often out of the house during those hours.
As I stated earlier, my beef is not with the PCC. It is with ALL that went before. How, after seeing all the lies DW stated and that were dis-proven beyond ANY doubt, could the IC prefer charges to the PCC?
How could the IC possibly believe the nonsensical charges regarding dog hair, knickers, and poo (charges that even if true, could not be proven), would stand a chance under honest, earnest scrutiny…well, it beggars belief. This man has been shown to be a liar. How could anyone possibly rely on this his word on anything that was in question and had absolutely no basis in fact when so many other things that could actually be proven (as lies in this case) were proven to be lies?
Thankfully, the PCC saw through the deception. DW changed his testimony numerous times during the hearing. The panel, rightfully, decided that (basically) he was full of shit!
On a another note: the patient that DW had been speaking to on the phone turned out to be PATIENT A. An independent consultant DC was called in to review my notes on this patient. He found that I did what any other reasonable chiropractor would do/conclude and that my notes were above average. Charges on that point, while in the NOTICE OF ALLEGATIONS, were found to be insupportable and the barrister for the GCC ‘invited’ them to disregard those charges as they had been found to be insupportable, and that they (barristers for the GCC) would not be presenting any evidence to defend those charges. Why was the independent consultant not brought in BEFORE those charges were formally brought and published on the website?
And so, at the end of a harrowing 4 years, I was found to be not guilty of unprofessional misconduct.
I never expected an apology from the GCC for this ordeal. But then, I never expected things to drag on for four years and, eventually, to be referred to PCC. Four years is too long for an investigation and much, much too long for it to come to trial and disposition.
My concern at this point is that the next time DW files a complaint, or causes one to be filed against me; I’ll be back at square one. I will be back at square one and he, DW, will continue this vendetta of defamation, libel and damage to my professional name, not to mention the incalculable loss of income because we have no idea how long ago he started referring people out of the clinic and what he continues to say in the community about me.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes my tirade!
Still in recovery,
Bridgit Gilmore, D.C.