MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

The UK Chiropractic Council is inviting you to help them re-formulate their educational standards. It is an occasion, some of my readers might find interesting. I, therefore, copy the relevant part of their announcement:

… Following a scoping review in 2021, which determined that the existing Education Standards, published in 2017, required development and updating, the GCC began revising the Education Standards in January 2022.

The revision will ensure that the Education Standards:

  • Provide a realistic and comprehensive set of outcomes to be met by graduates on approved qualifications, demonstrating an ability to practise in accordance with the GCC Code.
  • Take into account developments within the profession, increase focus on multi-disciplinary learning and different professions working more closely together across the UK, ensuring that graduates are well placed to meet the opportunities to care for patients in different contexts.
  • Remain consistent, as appropriate, with the outcomes set by other UK healthcare frameworks and standards.

Purpose: why we are consulting

This consultation sets out our draft Education Standards for providers and Learning Outcomes for students, which reflect and build on the evidence and feedback we have obtained through our scoping review.

We seek stakeholders’ views on these draft Education Standards to ensure our final proposals are future-proof and fit for purpose.

We welcome all responses to the consultation.


Documents

The draft Education Standards on which we invite comments.

The equality impact assessment of the Education Standards, with comments invited within the consultation.

The GCC Education Standards consultation document in Word format.


Ways to respond

Submissions to this consultation can be made online (see below) or by email at enquiries@gcc-uk.org (click here to download the consultation document).

It is advisable to make a copy of your submission to prevent the loss of information due to internet, portal or connectivity issues. This should be done before pressing the submit button.

Information in responses, including personal information, may need to be published or disclosed under the access to information regimes (mainly the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the General Data Protection Regulation, the Data Protection Act 2018, and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004).

The GCC is a data controller registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. We use personal data to support our work as the regulatory body for chiropractors. We may share data with third parties to meet our statutory aims and objectives, and when using our powers and meeting our responsibilities.


Closing date

The deadline for responses to this consultation on the draft Education Standards is 16 September 2022 at noon. The consultation will be publicised and stakeholders will be invited to comment…

_________________

Personally, I think the GCC desperately needs to improve its educational (and other) standards. They claim that, “as the regulator for chiropractors, our role is to protect the public”. The case of the late John Lawler is one of many examples to show how unfit for this purpose the GCC truly is.

So, perhaps you might want to contribute to the consultation with a view to making UK chiropractors less of a danger to the public?

 

3 Responses to The General Chiropractic Council “regulates chiropractors to ensure the safety of patients” … well, you could have fooled me!

  • It is very hard to help “re-formulate educational standards” for a profession which finds it so hard to explain what it professes – or why it professes as it does.
    It seems “chiropractic is what a chiropractor” does – a circular statement and logical fallacy.

    We know ‘chiropractors’ purport to diagnose musculo-skeletal pathology, and some, much else besides.
    We know that they learn techniques to release ‘innate’ – traditionally by adjusting subluxations of vertebrae.
    But that definition is waning and the question has to be answered as to what, exactly, it is that the chiropractic profession needs to be educated to do? And why it needs to be regulated by the GCC.

    Why do not ‘chiropractors’ study osteopathy, physiotherapy or medicine?

    It seems the GCC exists to provide employment for members and staff of the GCC. Is that acceptable?

    Its proposed standards can be critiqued in practically every paragraph, but allow me to identify a few.
    Overall, these standards ape those of the GMC. Nowt wrong with that – but we see here a progressive attempt to have ‘chiropractic’ recognised as a health care profession on a par with medicine. (Many chiropractors like to style themselves ‘Dr’.)
    And again I ask, if a person decides to train to be a chiropractor – why not a doctor? That must be answered as the GCC’s section on ‘informed consent’ requires – all relevant information must be provided to patients.

    To be specific, I note:

    “The provision of chiropractic care in the UK is based on professionalism. This places practising chiropractors in a position of trust which is earned by education, experience and providing safe, effective and quality care.”
    If that is chiropractors intention, I ask again, why not train in osteopathy, physiotherapy, nursing or medicine? What is the ‘unique selling point’ of chiropractic?

    “Put the health interests of patients first. Patients reasonably expect chiropractors to: put their health interests first.”
    In which case, why not suggest patients with a problem see an osteopath, physiotherapist or doctor?

    “Obtain informed consent Ask for consent to care before care starts and check the patient continues to give their consent to assessments and care. Provide accurate, relevant and clear information to enable informed decisions.”
    To which should be added: “Explain what evidence there is for ‘subluxations’, how ‘adjustments’ will help, and why chiropractic is to be preferred to osteopathy or physiotherapy.”

    “E1: share with the patient accurate, relevant and clear information to enable the patient to make informed decisions about their health needs and relevant care options.”
    To which must be added: “…including osteopathy and physiotherapy.”

    “You must also take into consideration a patient’s capacity to understand.”
    I ask: how is a chiropractor to enable a patient to understand concepts which have no currency in regular orthodox medicine?.

    “Act with honesty and integrity and maintain the highest standards of professional and personal conduct.”
    See all the above – and if a chiropractor, student of chiropractic or considering entering that profession: reconsider career options.

  • I agree that the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) seems to be unfit for purpose.

    Earlier this year I engaged in some correspondence with Richard Campbell, its ‘award-winning’ Policy & Communications Lead. From the outset he said I could post any part of our conversation on social media, therefore I am posting here some of his replies to my many concerns as I think readers – and potential contributors to the consultation – might find them valuable. Bear in mind that Mr Campbell comes from an engineering background and says he finds safety and reporting items “of interest”.

    Firstly, he agreed with me that patients should be provided with unambiguous, accurate information, and said that the GCC provided the public and patients with information to help them make informed decisions; although he said they should “speak to their GP if they had any doubts”. However, when I asked him if the GCC would fully inform the public about the chiropractic ‘bait and switch’ https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-bait-and-switch-of-unscientific-medicine/ he said, “No, we will not”. This was in an email following one in which he said it was “unfair” of me to call 60 million+ people in the UK ‘largely unwitting’ about chiropractic – and yet he admitted that the GCC was not prepared to state clearly that chiropractic only has minimal evidence of benefit for low back pain in adults and no evidence of benefit in children.

    He then went on to say that the role of the GCC was not to provide medical advice/guidance even though during the British Chiropractic Association v. Simon Singh libel case (which the scientist, Simon Singh, won) it commissioned the (very flawed) Bronfort report to provide chiropractors with a summary of evidence for manual treatment of MSK and non-MSK conditions. See: https://edzardernst.com/2013/08/evidence-based-chiropractic-is-an-oxymoron/

    Regarding chiropractic subluxations, when asked if he agreed that the real harm in chiropractic was caused by (bogus) treatment rather than by advertising, he answered “we are clear what a chiropractor can and cannot claim within advertising”. In other words, he didn’t answer the question.

    When informed about the intentions of the forthcoming vitalistic/subluxation-based Scotland College of Chiropractic https://www.zenosblog.com/2016/02/the-scotland-college-of-chiropractic-out-of-kilter-with-science/ he said that the GCC did not “comment on applications in progress”. That is a real shame because the dubious college is almost up and running: https://tinyurl.com/5n773u7y

    With regard to providing a transparent adverse events reporting system he insinuated that a dedicated harms monitoring website wasn’t required as the GCC had a concerns/complaints system https://www.gcc-uk.org/concerns-about-a-chiropractor already in place, “like the GMC”.

    Essentially, my correspondence with GCC confirmed what I have long suspected – i.e. that it seems to be deliberately obstructive and appears to put chiropractors before patients and the public.

    You can find more critical comment regarding the GCC here:
    https://edzardernst.com/?s=general+chiropractic+council
    and here:
    https://www.ebm-first.com/component/search/?searchword=general%20chiropractic%20council&searchphrase=all&Itemid=101

  • i agree. these patients are lazy. if they did a couple of hours iyengar/astanga per day they wouldn’t need this expense.

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