GOsC Fitness to Practise in 19/20

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GOsC Fitness to Practise in 19/20
By: Anonymous | Published On: 3/01/21 3:33 pm

The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) fitness to practise insight report for 19/20 provides some interesting insights in to the most common reasons for referrals and outcomes for osteopaths.
GOsC Fitness to Practise Process   

Before looking at the report, here is a brief overview of the GOsC’s Fitness to Practise process for reference.

Complaints received 2019-20

In 19/20, the most common source of complaints against osteopaths were from patients and, perhaps more surprisingly, self-referrals.

Overview of hearings and sanctions

  • Investigating Committee - During the 12 months from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, the Investigating Committee met 9 times and considered 40 cases. It concluded that 26 of those cases should be heard by the Professional Conduct Committee. In the remaining 14 cases it found no case to answer.
  • Health Committee - There were 2 cases heard by the Health Committee from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. In 1 case a suspension order was imposed and in the other the allegation was found not proved.
  • Professional Conduct Committee - From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 the Professional Conduct Committee made a final decision in 23 cases, of which 21 related to unacceptable professional conduct and 2 related to criminal convictions. 2 of the cases relating to unacceptable professional conduct related to the same osteopath and were heard jointly.

How long investigations took to conclude

In the 19/20 period, from receipt of formal complaint to decision:

  • Investigating Committee - 26 weeks (target = 26 weeks)
  • Professional Conduct Committee - 65 weeks (target = 52 weeks)

It is clear from the above that investigations can take a long time to conclude.  Whilst this is not unusual, there needs to be recognition of the fact that osteopaths subject to formal fitness to practise processes can find the process very stressful and it can impact on their mental health.

Linked to the discussion on the mental health impact on osteopaths subject to formal fitness to practise proceedings, the GOsC have signed up to support for osteopaths.

General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) Defence Barrister

Throughout the General Osteopathic Council’s fitness to practise process, there is opportunity for osteopaths to engage and respond.  Early and robust engagement is often key to an early resolution to concerns raised.

The GOsC recommends in its guidance that “You should … get your own independent legal advice about the complaint and our request for your response as soon as possible.”

Contact me today for an initial free and no obligation consultation on 0207 060 1983 or Stephen.McCaffrey@kingsviewchambers.com.

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