Announcing the launch of the Nightingale Collaboration at #TAMLondon

Misinformation about complementary and alternative therapies is rife
on the Internet, in newspapers and magazines and on the high street
and this misinformation misleads the public. It is particularly
important that the public have accurate information about healthcare
so they can make informed choices.

This misleading information won’t disappear by itself: it needs to be

Complaints about chiropractors’ website claims, made by Alan Henness,
Simon Perry and others, have shown that it is possible to confront and
highlight misleading information, have it withdrawn and those
responsible held to account.

The Nightingale Collaboration will continue this work and will share
knowledge and best practice with others and give them support and

Florence Nightingale is well known for her commitment to using robust
evidence to decide what worked in improving healthcare. As the first
woman to be elected to the Royal Statistical Society and on the
centenary of her death in 1910, the Nightingale Collaboration
acknowledges her great legacy.


The Nightingale Collaboration will work to improve the protection of
the public by ensuring claims made about complementary and alternative
therapies are not misleading. We will do this by:

challenging misleading claims made by practitioners on their websites,
in adverts and in their promotional and sales materials and subjecting
these to scrutiny by the appropriate regulatory bodies;
striving to ensure that organisations representing complementary and
alternative practitioners have robust codes of conduct for their
members that protect the public and that these are rigorously


There are several different methods of working that will be used to
achieve the Aims:

A.      Nightingale Collaboration Campaigns: conducted by Nightingale
Collaboration personnel, gathering information, planning and executing
the campaign, with the support of volunteers where required. This type
of campaign would clearly be carried out in the name of the
Nightingale Collaboration.

B.      Associated Campaigns: we will collaborate with volunteers on
campaigns by providing advice and authorisation to ensure maximum
impact and liklihood of success. These campaigns will be publicised as
being conducted in association with the Nightingale Collaboration.

C.      The Nightingale Collaboration will make tools and resources
available so that others can pursue their own individual campaigns
with maximum effect. These campaigns will be entirely separate from
the Nightingale Collaboration.

Volunteer Collaboration

Volunteer roles

There will be differing roles for volunteers, allowing for varying
levels of commitment. Volunteers will be able to contribute according
to their skills and whatever time commitment suits them.

It will be very much a collaborative effort.

Possible tasks include:

1.       Locating misleading information, whether that is on the
Internet, in national or local press, in local clinics, etc.

2.       Gathering this misleading information in a legal and diligent manner.

3.       Coordinating local campaigns.

4.       Submitting complaints to the appropriate regulatory bodies.

Volunteer training

The Nightingale Collaboration will provide training for key volunteers
to help them in their roles.

Tools and resources

There will be Nightingale Collaboration tools, resources, advice and
guidance available to volunteers, some of which will also be publicly
available to anyone who wants to act wholly independently.

Code of Conduct

There will be a code of conduct on how we obtain information and how
we deal with others so we maintain the moral high ground and keep
within the law. All personnel and volunteers will be required to abide
by it.


We will have access to various experts who can advise us on legal
matters and supply authoritative advice on scientific evidence to use
in our campaigns.

The Nightingale Collaboration

The Nightingale Collaboration must be seen to be ethical, legal,
authoritative, thorough and tenacious. This is so that we attract good
volunteers and so that the Nightingale Collaboration is taken
seriously — providers of misinformation must be clearly aware that we
mean business. We must gain a reputation for effectiveness.

More information will be released on the website over the coming weeks
and months. To be kept informed, send an email to
[email protected] or follow @NightingaleC on Twitter.

Alan Henness & Maria MacLachlan

Directors, The Nightingale Collaboration

October 2010

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