Omnibus Complaint to the General Chiropractic Council
Various bloggers have been complaining to their local chiropractor, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) or the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). These include jdc325, Tristan at Cargo Cult Science and APGaylard at A canna’ change the laws of physics.
These are all excellent and should make them realise that they are being watched – critically and under a very powerful (scientific) microscope. However, I don’t think this will bring about the seismic shift in the way chiropractors advertise their services that is badly required to properly protect the public. What is needed is the GCC to sit up and take note of what their charges are doing and ensure the rules governing chiropractors are followed – to the letter. After all, that’s what a regulator is supposed to do, isn’t it?
So, what are the rules? I’ve blogged about this previously:
To summarise: the GCC has a statutory duty to regulate all UK chiropractors. Part of that duty is ensuring they abide by their Code of Practice (CoP). This clearly states that chiropractors should not make claims that would not stand up to the scrutiny of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA guidance is given mainly in their Code of Advertising Practice (CAP). This clearly requires scientific evidence for claims made by advertisers and not just anecdotal claims or testimonies. The CoP and CAP also require them not to use the title ‘Dr’ in any way that might lead the public to believe they are properly qualified medical practitioners.
It’s time to pull all this together and to make a complaint to the GCC – not just about my local chiropractor, but about all of those making claims for which there is no robust clinical evidence.
About 40% of entries in the BCA register give a website of a member’s clinic and I have used this to compile a list of the claims made on those 287 websites. According to the BCA’s register, there are 523 chiropractics working in these clinics. I have written an ‘omnibus’ complaint and I have submitted it to the GCC’s Chief Executive and Registrar, Margaret Coats.
My letter of complaint and the list of the 523 chiropractors concerned can be downloaded here.
The complaint is in three parts: complaints against the unsupported claims made; the use of the term ‘Dr’ misleading the public; and miscellaneous complaints about issues like chiropractors encouraging their patients into taking on continual chiropractic care for the sake of their ongoing health.
One thing I have found: the GCC do seem serious about complaints. It is one of their statutory duties to deal with all complaints in a thorough and professional manner.
I know what I want the GCC to do in response to my complaints, but I’ll save that for a later blog post and see what the GCC proposes.