Osteopath Admonished (for record keeping) after a two year battle to secure a fair hearing – Character evidence at fact stage initially ruled inadmissible

An osteopath who was originally charged with administering inappropriate HVT to a hyper-mobile patient along with various allegations of lack of consent and examination/diagnosis was finally admonished for a record keeping admission after a two year battle to persuade GOsC to admit character evidence at the facts stage. The original committee ruled that the osteopath could not admit character evidence to support his defence of “usual practice” when trying to meet the allegations of consent and communication failures. In essence the osteopath was trying to demonstrate that whilst he had no personal recollection of events this would be his normal practice.

After the preliminary ruing, counsel successfully applied to adjourn the hearing to pursue judicial review proceedings to deal with the issue. The first judge at the Administrative Court dismissed the application with costs. Counsel appealed this decision to the Court of Appeal where leave to appeal was granted with a fairly robust indication on the merits. As a consequence the parties agreed that the character evidence was admissible and the case be re-listed before a new committee. The new committee admitted the character evidence and found all of the non-admitted allegations unproved including the contraindicated HVT adjustment.

DE v GOSC 2015 Administrative Court/Court of Appeal