Information for chiropractors and other health professionals who have concerns about a chiropractor
All chiropractors have a duty to act when they believe patients’ safety is at risk, or that patients’ care or dignity are being compromised.
Concerns you should raise with us:
You should report concerns to us if you believe that the chiropractor’s fitness to practise is impaired. This may be for a number of reasons:
• Deficient performance
• A criminal conviction or caution in the British Isles (or elsewhere for an offence which would be a criminal offence if committed in England or Wales)
• Physical or mental ill-health
• Lack of the necessary knowledge of English language to be able to practise chiropractic safety in the UK
Concerns we cannot help with:
If you have a different concern, we may not be the best place to raise it. For example we cannot mediate in practice disputes
You may be reluctant to report a concern for a number of reasons. For example, because you fear that nothing will be done or that raising your concern may cause problems for colleagues; have a negative effect on working relationships; have a negative effect on your career; or result in a complaint about you.
If you are hesitating about reporting a concern for these reasons, you should bear the following in mind.
a. You have a duty to put patients’ interests first and act to protect them, which overrides personal and professional loyalties.
b. The law provides legal protection against victimisation or dismissal for individuals who reveal information to raise genuine concerns and expose malpractice in the workplace.
c. You do not need to wait for proof – you will be able to justify raising a concern if you do so honestly, on the basis of reasonable belief and through appropriate channels, even if you are mistaken
What happens when I have raised a concern
If you do raise a concern with the GCC we expect you to fully co-operate with the investigation. This usually means that the chiropractor will become aware the you have raised a concern with us.
The way we investigate complaints is set down by law to make sure everything is fair, open and done in the public interest. So, once our complaints procedures start, everything must be done in a set way:
• We will write to the chiropractor to tell them about your complaint. We must give them a copy of your complaint (and any other relevant documents) so that they know the details. If you are concerned about your identity being known, please let us know.
• We will then send you a copy of what the chiropractor says about your complaint. You are then then given the opportunity to comment and we will send these further comments to the chiropractor
• We may invite you to make a statement of evidence, set out in a legal way. We will ask if you are willing for a solicitor to visit or phone you to go over the details of the complaint and draft the statement of evidence of which you will need to sign under witness. The GCC will pay for any solicitor's fees and the costs of witnessing your statement
If you do not want to make a statement of evidence, that will not be a problem, we will be able to rely on your original letter of complaint.
Once all the necessary information has been gathered, the case is referred to the Investigating Committee.