The random thoughts of a sceptical activist

Email #2 from the GCC

Email #2 from the GCC, received earlier today:

I acknowledge receipt of your email below and can confirm that I have also received your other email (sent 15 June at 1.55 a.m.), which provided the saved web pages. It appears that there may have been some misunderstanding in respect of my letter dated 12 June 2009. You have provided approximately 254 folders, each of which contains a number of HTML documents. So far, we have ascertained that the number of the documents within the folders varies from 1 to 195.

So that we can process your complaints in a timely and effective manner, we need from you, please, a copy of the specific detail on which you rely in relation to your complaints from each of the websites. This will ensure that the documents that you regard as most pertinent to each complaint can be sent to the respondent chiropractor for his or her observations, as required by our statutory process.

I would also be grateful if you can email your complaint to me in the original format you used, rather than in the PDF format supplied by you on 8 June 2009.

Yours sincerely

Emma Willis

My response:

Emma

Thank you for your email.

My initial complaint email provided a detailed list of the claims I had extracted from each named website. The copies of these websites enable each specific claim to been seen individually and also in the context of the other information given on the website.

I have attached the list of members, websites, claims, etc in its original format as requested. I assume you don’t need the letter in its original format.

Best regards.

Unfortunately, their email system didn’t like my attachment, so it blocked the email. I had to email someone else at the GCC to request the email be released. Hopefully, she will receive it correctly and I have asked for confirmation.

Then, in response to another email I sent, asking for ‘a copy of the document or documents that fully detail the complete complaints process’, I received:

I will post to you the relevant legislation which sets out the statutory framework for investigating complaints.

It may be of assistance to you if I explain the process of investigating complaints received. When a complaint is received (a detailed letter setting out the complaint and identifying the chiropractor(s) against whom the complaint is submitted), the complaint is automatically referred to the Investigating Committee. The Investigating Committee is responsible for investigating all the complaints the GCC receives against registrants.

The Investigating Committee is required under legislation to invite all complainants to make a statement of evidence in relation to their complaint. Where the complainant is a patient or a member of the public, the GCC offers the complainant the opportunity to draft their witness statement with a solicitor acting on behalf of the Investigating Committee (the GCC is responsible for the costs involved in this). Where the complainant is another health professional or organisation, they are invited to make a witness statement with their own solicitor. The GCC reimburses them only for the cost of having their witness statement sworn.

The chiropractor is then notified of the complaint received. As complaints are investigated in accordance with relevant legislation, we must write to the chiropractor to notify them of the complaint and a copy of all the information we have received is then provided to the chiropractor. The chiropractor can submit observations on the complaint. The observations of the chiropractor are generally disclosed to the complainant and they are given an opportunity to make comments. The complainant’s comments are then provided to the respondent for additional observations. After this process is then complete, the Investigating Committee meets to consider the complaint. The Investigating Committee receives a copy of all complaint documentation in paper format.

I do hope you find this information of assistance.

The middle three paragraphs don’t tell me anything I didn’t already know from the information on their website and the leaflet they sent me. I would have thought they would have had a document that described in detail their complaints process, but it appears it is all contained in the ‘relevant legislation’. These documents are available on their website and which I already have.

3 Responses to Email #2 from the GCC

  • Sure is a lot of legwork and hoops that they are making you jump through to make them follow their own guidelines and regulate themselves.

    This strikes me as being about as effective as the police internal investigation into the Ian Tomlinson case.

    Great job on following through with all of this.

  • G'day Zeno,

    You asked for 'the complaints process' but I think what you wanted was the normal procedure described in 'in line with our normal procedure' that they used to justify asking for copies of whole web pages.

    I'm amused that they are going in circles – you send the detailed claims, and presumably page locations. They ask for the full web pages, you sent them and they ask for the detailed claims!.
    In part, I don't think they're coping with your level of thoroughness – complaining about something and identifying each of 195 pages on which it occurs, for example.

    It will be hard work, and you'll probably end up swearing 254 individual witness statements, but I think it is worth doing.

    It certainly shows that the GCC does not seem to have actually kept its registered chiropractors following its rules.

  • Thanks for the comments, David!

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