A general record of my ongoing battle with all forms of nonsense.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

The CNHC won't be publishing my complaints

Following my complaints to the CNHC about 14 reflexologists claiming to treat specific diseases without any credible evidence, you may have noticed that nothing has yet appeared on the CNHC’s decisions page.

I contacted Maggie Dunn about this matter. It appears that because my complaints were dealt with before it got through to the conduct and competence committee, they do not intend to publish the details on the web site, nor do they intend on ever naming the offending practitioners.

With still no clarification from the CNHC on what practitioners are allowed to claim, it seems likely that there are many more CNHC members continuing to do exactly the same with no worry about regulation.

Maybe it’s time to submit a few more complaints.


Ricardohere said...

It didn't go to Conduct & Complaints committee?

So who adjudicated?

Anonymous said...

I am surprised CNHC can afford to publish anything. 12 months since they opened their 'register' and even allowing for their mysteriously shrinking claims for quacks who will join (10,000 in the first year, then 4000 in the first year, then 2000 by the autumn of 2009) it is still the simple truth that only 1625 quacks have been conned into joining.

To run this vast empire there are 58 different positions a vast array of boards and committees, yes folks that’s right for every 30 quacks there is a remunerated position to support. Interesting, the Finance Committee is the smallest of all the panels with only three members!

Facilitation of CNHC’s very own ‘Never Never Land’ now requires a new Business Manager (the last one having suffered from a severe case of terminal career failure which did not respond to treatment with even a powerful almond oil diffuser). So if you fancy a 35 hour week and £42,000 PA working with interesting spirits give them a go…. obviously there will be a six month period of probation, which correlates roughly to when they go bust!

Undeterred by the imminent approach of insolvency (income PA = <£60k outgoings PA = >£220k) CNHC have launched a new website prominently featured on the home page of which is the representation of a thermometer captioned ‘Current Registration Numbers’. As either an exercise in optimism or an outright deception the graphic indicates 2000 registrants. Perhaps I missed the 375 astral entries.

Anonymous said...

That is obvious Ricardohere.... 'twas the pixies!

AndyD said...

"...on what practitioners are allowed to complain, "???

word verification: "troos" :)

Zeno said...

That's a good point, Ricardohere: I'm not intimately familiar with their complaints process, but a complaint would usually only be decided by that committee. I wonder if they bypassed proper procedure? Not a good idea for an organisation that wants to set itself up as a credible regulator.

DoreenB said...

The Federation of Holistic Therapists is a sort of catch-all body for loads of different types of quacks. Their membership categories lists therapies including Bowen Vibromuscular Harmonisation, Iris Mapping Consultation, and even Tibetan Ball Massage. (mmm!?) In support of CNHC they have issued a Press Release containing the following gems:

‘The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) is currently embarking upon a new campaign with medical insurance companies to ensure they have the latest information on complementary therapies….’

… after a quick waffle about CNHC (which does not mention that their President works for CNHC).. we get the one that Simon is going to love…

‘For the medical insurance industry, the benefits to their industry and policyholders are apparent. Primarily, policyholders can be assured of being treated by regulated practitioners, required to be insured, qualified and practising CPD. In addition insurance companies and policyholders now have a single authority to contact for information and complaint.’

Somehow I don’t think this ‘campaign’ is going to get too far.

Ricardohere said...

@Simon & @Zeno:

The 'official' Complaints process can be found here:


To be fair, there is now an 'adjudication' at:


but that's just the press release that Simon referenced.

I suspect that this can't go any further - see:


and, given that the practitioners' 'Fitness to practice' wasn't impaired according to the adjudication, no further action will be taken (See page_id=36 above - para 3).

But then, can a person work 'safely and effectively in a particular discipline...' (Para 4) if his or her claims aren't supportable?

Zeno said...


OfQuack have a Code of Conduct, Performance and Ethics that, you'd think, its members would be expected to follow in its entirety. This covers advertising in paragraph C 15 and many other aspects of behaviour, etc. There appears to be an equality of these issues, ie none of them are given any more weight than any other and that all its requirements are considered to be 'fitness to practice' issues.

That still leaves the question of who decided the guilt in these cases. The role of the IC is to decide whether there is a 'case to answer' - not to apportion guilt or innocence - and then for the either the Conduct and Competence Panels or Health Panels to look at the evidence and to come to a decision. The Health Panel would look at any practitioner health issues and the CCP would deal with all others.

Nowhere in their rather flimsy Complaints Process does it say that the IC has the power to decide a case.

I've just re-read their press release on it (although it is now disguised as a Decision Notice).

However, they say that the ICP [sic]:

"...found that the registrants had contravened Paragraph 15 of the Code of Conduct"

I think that, based on the information they have given, OfQuack have seriously mis-managed the situation and clearly seem to be saying that a decision about whether their CoC had been breeched was made by a Committee not charged with that duty.

There appears to be a case for those who have already been found guilty to complain to OfQuack or perhaps even for a judicial review.

Just noticed that decisions can be appealed to OfQuack:

"A Registrant can appeal against the decision(s) of a Health Panel, a Conduct and Competence Panel, or a Restoration Committee. All appeals must be lodged within 28 days of the date of the hearing at which the decision was made."

But I note that this doesn't mention decisions made by the IC!

Ricardohere said...

Agreed on all counts!

Anonymous said...

Dear Colleague,

I have been sent a copy of an email which I feel it is my duty as a practitioner of orthodox medicine, a practitioner of complementary medicine and a tax payer, to share with you. The message is from John French CEO of the Federation of Holistic Therapists and begins with a reference to acting on the advice of the CNHC Registrar Maggie Dunn on a plan to take control of the professions council for Reflexology. www.Reflexologyforum.org

The email sent to Kush Kumar, CEO of the Complementary Therapists Association and copied to Jennifer Wayte, President of the Federation of Holistic Therapists, goes on to describe how other professional associations are to be tricked into supporting the motion to change the Forum’s constitution without knowing that in conjunction with CNHC these two organisations, having removed voting rights from the other organisations, intend to establish a multi-discipline Professions Council and funnel unsuspecting therapists into CNHC.

It should be noted that these two organisations are charging £15 a time to ‘validate’ individuals for admission to the CNHC.

Essentially the focus is to remove the entire executive, remove voting rights from member organisations and change the objective of the Forum from supporting Reflexology to supporting CNHC. I have a full draft of the motion referred to in the email and am happy to share.

Increasingly over the past twelve months there have been rumours about various actions of CNHC and therapists themselves have made their own judgement by not registering with the body. This is obvious by only approximately 1600 choosing to be listed as CNHC registrants.

A Registrar colluding with the heads of two associations (one of which is a charity) and sharing an objective of subverting the democratic process which forms the very core of voluntary self-regulation is quite frankly disgusting.

I don’t know if these actions are criminal. I believe there are some laws about operating cartels or ‘fixing’ bids for government grants and CNHC has received substantial government funding. What I am certain of is that this type of behaviour does not come within the job specification of a Registrar, the CEO of a charity, the President of a charity or even the Chair of a professional association.

I shall be writing to my MP, to the GMC, to the Secretary of State for Health and to the Charities Commission. I am not a member of either organisation but you who are may wish to convey your views to those who are acting in your name.


Anonymous said...

---and here's the e-mail referred to.

From: "John French" >
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 14:53:15 -0000
To: Kush Kumar
Cc: Jennifer Wayte
Subject: Motion to amend the Refelxology Forum constitution


As discussed, following Friday’s advice by Maggie Dunn to propose a motion to the RF regarding changes required to its constitution, please find attached the motion and the original constitution to which it relates.

If you can second this motion I will send to the RF executive, copying in all members, asking for an EGM to be scheduled to approve/disapprove this motion. I will also be informing them that the FHT will not be paying its 2010 fees until the EGM is held.

This will drive 3 possible outcomes;

1. The RF ignore this motion enabling both the FHT and Ctha to withdraw with CNHC support to forum an alternative professional forum or multi-disciplined one.
2. The RF follow correct protocol and hold an EGM. If the motion is rejected then (1) above applies.
3. The RF follow correct protocol and hold an EGM. If the motion is accepted then we can work with the members (no executive) towards a multi-disciplined forum.

As agreed, I will contact Nicola Hall (BRA) and Tracey Smith (AOR) to gain support for the motion (no mention of multi-disciplined option at this stage).

You will contact Helen Neal (APNT).

If you can get back to me asap to confirm the seconding of this motion by the Ctha I will move quickly on this matter.


Anonymous said...

The letter from 'James' has been received by several people and confirms some of the fears many of us have had.

Ricardohere said...

For info:
Just received via FHT:

"Some FHT members may have received a Spam email from a gentleman named James attempting to discredit the FHT and the complementary therapy profession. As you may be aware there are a number of detractors of the profession that send Spam emails to professional complementary therapists obtaining email addresses from various websites and lists. Please be assured that they have not obtained your email address from the FHT. If your email address is in the public domain then it is difficult to prevent it being accessed by scam emailers however all your personal information that is not displayed on the FHT 'Find A Therapist' is confidential and protected by the Data Protection Act 1998.

The circular email makes several disparaging claims about the FHT. There is no substance to any of the claims made and it is quite clear he is anti complementary therapy, anti integrated health and anti regulation. The FHT will endeavour to represent your interests and counter, disprove and challenge the claims made by these individuals in their attempts to discredit your profession.

If you receive any emails of this nature please forward them to your professional association and we will take the appropriate action on your behalf.

John French
Chief Executive

Anonymous said...


it all seems so reasonable----