Should Graham Donald chair Investigating Committee meetings?

 SnoutsInTheTroughGraham Donald is acting chairman of the Investigating Committee (IC) his CV on the GCC website describes him as a “retired Civil Servant” with an impeccable background perfect for the IC you would have thought. However nothing is at it seems at the GCC when you give a little scratch to the veneer Margaret coats it in.

The information below is taken from postings I did in 2006, questioning a conflict of Interests for Mr Graham Donald; Former Deputy Clerk to the Privy council and the man who processed complaints made by chiropractors about the GCC to the Privy Council. (They are the body who would step in if it was decided the chiropractic profession is unable to regulate itself)

The Chief executive of the GCC Margaret Coats hired  Mr Donald soon after his retirement from the Privy council to do some “regulatory work” for which he was paid £11,500 for a few weeks work. Coats saw this as an opportunity to find out if Council Members had complained to the Privy Council about how the GCC was managed. Coats succeeded in getting information out of Donald about contact council member Dana Greene had with the Privy council, she was summoned before Peter Dixon to explain. Mr Donald was appointed Deputy Chair to the GCC  Investigating Commitee in 2009. We are told these appointments were made independently by the appointments commission. Yes a member of the appointments commission was present with Coats and Dixon sitting at her shoulder. If the associations are going to change the GCC they have to understand how the GCC works.

When I started blogging in October 2005, I advised chiropractors to take their complaints about the GCC to the Privy Council. The person to Contact at the Privy Council was;
Mr Graham Donald
Deputy Clerk of the Council
Privy Council Office
2 Carlton Gardens
London SW1 5AA

You can imagine my surprise then to find out that Graham Donald had retired from the Privy Council some months after this notice was put  up and was now performing some of duties of disgraced former deputy registrars Greg Prices at the GCC. (Price had to resign from the GCC for posting anti chiropractic postings on the internet)

While he was working for the GCC in 2006, Graham Donald was not listed as an employee on the GCC website, nor had the GCC advertised the availability Greg Price’s post publicly. I was contacted by a number of chiropractors who were concerned because Graham Donald was seen at a PCC hearing and he was the recipient of letters from them complaining about the GCC.

On their behalf I contacted the GCC Chief Executive Margaret Coates who confirmed  that

Mr Donald, who was previously Deputy Clerk to the Privy Council, is currently working as a short-term contractor for the GCC. He is not a replacement for Mr Price”. 

The privy council had no idea that Mr Donald was working for the GCC until i told them. Christine Cooke of the Privy council stated

"Graham Donald retired from the Privy Council Office in January 2006. I do not think that Mr Donald is now a GCC employee. If he was, Mr Donald is still bound by the Civil Service Code, of which Paragraph 6 states:" You must not : – disclose official information without authority. This duty continues to apply after you leave the Civil Service" Perhaps Dana Greene should now complain to the Privy Council.

Margaret Coates had absolute confidence in the system

“As to ‘concerns’ that have been expressed to you, I am amazed that anyone would assume that a public servant of Mr Donald’s stature would ever breach confidentiality”.

After this the Privy Council began referring all questions on the GCC to the Department of Health. Graham Donald did have an active roll in dealing with chiropractors complaints about the GCC and worked with Margaret Coats at GCC offices after his retirement and in my opinion there was a conflict of interest. Graham Donalds long term association with Margaret Coats makes him unsuitable to be on the Investigating Committee never mind chair meetings.

I later found out what Graham Donald was doing for Margaret Coats. In May 2006 Mr Donald contacted Mr Chucks Golding, Director of Central services at Cambridgeshire County Council to see what was in the “domestic waste” of registered Chiropractor Kola Akindell . In 2004 Dr Akindell had spurious charges against him dismissed by the PCC at a cost to the GCC of £30,260 and now they were trying again to nail Kola who was one of the chiropractors  nominated me for the GCC council in 2007. 

On being informed of this request by Mr Golding, Kola contacted Mr Donald at the GCC to know what was going on. He was then contacted by Mr Donald. Thank you for your letter of 6 July; “To Date, no complaint has been received in relation to this matter, so under the freedom of information act 2000, there is no information that we are required to disclose”.

After reading my posting regarding Mr Donald,s position at the Privy Council and the GCC, Kola contacted me to find out who Graham Donald was. On 19 of July Kola wrote again to Mr Donald asking ; why was the GCC interested in my waste? What grounds did the GCC have for this intrusion into a personal dispute with the Local Council? What did you hope to find old face paper and office sweepings?

This time Mr Donald provided a bit more information. He told Kola that his attention was drawn to an article in the Peterborough Evening Telegraph of the 28th of March titled “Dr put junk mail in wrong bin”. Mr Donald went on to say “the GCC as you know, the statutory regulator of registered chiropractors pursuant to the chiropractic act 1994, and under that act investigates conduct which appears to fall short of the standards set out in the code of practice and which may amount to unacceptable professional conduct”.
Putting junk mail in the wrong bin??????? I COULD NOT MAKE THIS UP!

All this happened way  back in 2006 you would not have thought things could have got any worse and they did and they will continue to get worse, until the profession explains to the GCC that statutory “SELF” regulation does not mean regulation by Coats, Dixon and a few cronies.

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