I have received a letter this morning from the GCC telling me about how my complaints are going. Unsurprisingly, they are finding the sheer volume rather difficult to cope with. I complained about four officers of the BCA for misrepresenting evidence.
The GCC Indicative Sanctions Guidance notes for the Professional Conduct Committee suggests that misrepresenting evidence is not looked kindly upon:
This term is used to describe a range of misconduct from presenting misleading information in publications to dishonesty in clinical trials. Such behaviour undermines the trust that both the public and the profession have in chiropractic as a science, regardless of whether this leads to direct harm of patients. Because it has the potential to have far reaching consequences, this type of dishonesty is particularly serious.
Others have made vast ‘omnibus’ complaints about chiropractors making misleading claims on their web site.
Well, the GCC has written to all the chiropractors concerned with the following letter:
10 July 2009
TIMESCALE FOR lNVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINT AGAINST YOU
In a letter from the GCC dated 6 July 2009, you received preliminary notification of a complaint against you. That letter was not a formal notification under the provisions of the GCC’s Investigating Committee Rules (and nor is this letter).
No doubt you are aware that the GCC has received an unprecedented number of complaints in the last month or so – 590, as compared with an average of 40 per annum.
In these circumstances it will be necessary to increase our regulatory staff capacity before we issue formal notification of any complaints relating to chiropractic websites.
We anticipate that we will start issuing the relevant formal notifications in September 2009. They will not all be issued on the same date as we need to spread the workload both for staff and the Investigating Committee. I appreciate this is a stressful situation for you but I trust you will understand the reason for this timescale.
Please note that you don’t need to take any action in response to this letter, it is intended for information only.
Chief Executive & Registrar
Clearly, the GCC are taking this all very seriously. I would be very surprised if they did not. The GCC are bound to do so by law and have an overriding prerogative to protect the public. Last year, the GCC dropped its commitment to promote the profession as this was seen to be in conflict with its role in regulation.
It is a shame that things are being delayed. These issues need to be cleared up. I shall write some more soon about the possible future of the Chiropractic profession in the UK as a result of these extraordinary events.