Chiropractor A received a notification of complaint “out of the blue” concerning his treatment of a patient 7 years earlier in 2012.The complaint alleged that chiropractor A had come to the wrong diagnosis and treated Patient A without taking into account certain neurological findings and the possibility of root nerve involvement. Further allegations were made that plan of care was inappropriate and the chiropractor’s record keeping was inadequate. The patient was suggesting that the chiropractor had caused an injury albeit no experts supported this assertion.
In the weeks leading up to the case the patient started to show reluctance to attend the hearing. Whilst the patient’s potential non attendance affected some of the allegations which could only be evidenced by the patient, there remained a number of were allegations capable of proof without the need for the patient to give evidence as these were matter of expert evidence.
Jonathan Goldring, instructed by Bankside Law made an application under rule 6(3)(b) of The General Chiropractic Council (Professional Conduct Committee) Rules Order of Council 2000, namely that the remaining allegations even if found proved would not be capable of amounting to unacceptable professional conduct and therefore that as a matter of law the case should be dismissed.
As far as we are aware this is the first time that the General Chiropractic Council have dismissed a case using this rule.
This case is also an important reminder that unlike other health care regulators, the General Chiropractic Council do not have a statutory time limitation period in which complaints have to be made.