The statement I made to council at my hearing was 17 pages long and took about an hour to get through.
Peter Dixon had threatened to restrict me to speaking about the "charges" against me at the start. I told him if there were any interruptions I would walk out and say I was not allowed to make my statement in his kangaroo court so they relented. I had requested that all Council members be given a copy of the GCC’s good governance policy before I was heard as I referred to it quiet often. It felt so good getting it all out so council members could no longer claim they had no idea. They were not that interested only one question.
Peter Dixon forgot to ask his question and posted it to me after the meeting. He wants to know where I got all my information from, hardly rocket science. In making my statement public I will begin with the last page which deals with the problem faced by any council member who does not agree with council and who is not prepared to tow the GCC line any longer. THen I will add the other parts. I am accused of acting contrary to the best interests of Council. The GCC statutory duty is to balance protecting the public with the interests of the chiropractic profession. To achieve that goal is why I became a member of council. The evidence has shown that it is Peter Dixon’s chairing of council that has brought the GCC into disrepute and undermined the profession’s confidence in council and that view is supported by the fact he polled the lowest number of votes in England and was fortunate to be re-elected. The fact that I have had to go to the extreme of drawing an extraordinary council meeting with a resolution to remove me from council to facilitate the airing of genuine concerns to council members, raises the question whether the GCC is “fit for purpose” and whether the chiropractic profession is able to regulate itself competently.
The fact is that it is not able to operate as a homogenous profession on council and the divisions are always simmering away beneath the surface. As a result of these divisions the GCC gets away with paying only lip service to its principal stakeholders, the chiropractic profession and the Chiropractic Patients Association (CPA), focusing instead on CHRE, managing to convince them of the great job they are doing, processing streams of vexatious cases. The chiropractic profession has the questionable honour of having the highest number of complaints ratio to registrants of any regulatory body. Some months ago GCC council members received a lecture on clinical Governance we were told “When a board has arrived at a decision after full and open discussion, individual board members who dissent from the decision should normally accept the majority view” The speaker went onto say that "this does not mean that a director should not be prepared, if necessary, to express disagreement with colleagues, including the chairman or chief executive, but it does mean that he or she should accept that resignation or dismissal may sometimes be the ultimate consequence of sustained protest on a matter of conscience.I fully accept that view and suspected that would be the likely out come when I took my concerns outside of council to the presidents of the associations". This moment came for me when Councils Chairman Peter Dixon avoided discussion as to whether the GCC should apologise to its principal stakeholder, the chiropractic profession, for comments made by a former GCC employee on a number of websites that disparaged many registered chiropractors.
The GCC council members want to remove me for breaking their rules when it is quit apparent management has shown a complete and utter disregard for their own guidelines for good governance. The fact is there is no independent mechanism for investigating complaints against officers of the GCC. (I asked Peter to involve other members of Council in the investigation of all those complaints that have recently been made to him and mentioned on this site by Rod McMillan. Peter felt I was questioning his authority and impugning his integrity) Richard Rumary highlighted the problem when he resigned from the GCC in 2000, he wrote to me stating “the great problem was that, so long as I remained a member of council, I had no way of making known to the outside world, that I did not agree with many things which the GCC was doing. There is no mechanism for publishing dissent in the way of a minority opinion; you are stuck with the convention of collective responsibility – and if you are not prepared to accept that convention, then there is no alternative but for you to resign”. Otherwise GCC rules provide council members with the option to remove dissenters by voting them off the council. Dissenters who wish to remain on council have no option but to tow the majority line". I will not resign and will not tow the majority line while this abuse of due process is allowed to continue. The GCC are damaging the credibility of the profession for years to come and possibly the right to self statutory regulation. Peter Dixon’s solution is to present Council with a resolution to have the only truly "independent" chiropractor on council removed. Whatever your decision there will be no winner today until council earns the respect of the profession and chiropractic patients.
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