Chiropractors ‘should be regulated’

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CONCERNS about unregulated chiropractors operating in the island were raised by an MHK in the House of Keys.

Bill Henderson (Douglas North) expressed his ‘complete horror and consternation’ that Social Care bosses had apparently reneged on an agreement to include a clause regulating chiropractors in the Regulation of Care Bill.

Mr Henderson said he had raised serious concerns as there was no legislation whatsoever to regulate someone who could just set themselves up as a chiropractor.

He said: ‘This was flagged up to me by a constituent of mine who received chiropractic treatment that subsequently caused serious physical injury.’

Mr Henderson said that incident, involving a chiropractor ‘partly authorised somewhere else’, has ended in a court case but this kind of practice had ‘not left the island’.

He said there were also concerns over the use of x-ray facilities by unregulated chiropractors, with claims they could be breaching the UK guidelines for their use.

Mr Henderson said he had negotiated an agreement to include a clause regulating this profession in the Regulation of Care Bill, which was given its second reading in the Keys this week.

He urged Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw to consider an amendment to the bill at the clauses stage.

Mr Robertshaw insisted, however, that this wasn’t the aim of the bill which focused on the regulation of the care service rather than individual professionals.

He said that the agreement to include the regulation of chiropractors was made under the former Department of Health and Social Security.

The Department of Social Care had at first welcomed the request to insert a section within the Regulation of Care Bill to enable chiropractors to be regulated.

However, it had ‘become clear’ as the bill developed that the best way forward for the regulation of healthcare professionals such as chiropractors was to use the regulatory powers of the various professional bodies.

He said the Department of Health felt it was more appropriate for chiropractors to come under legislation that it is bringing forward which will include provisions to regulate a wide range of healthcare professionals using existing professional bodies.

But Mr Henderson told the Manx Independent that he was not reassured. He said: ‘They took my clause out, didn’t tell me and now we are not sure how this is going to be regulated. This leaves the public open to some fairly hefty abuse. We know there are extended packages being pushed to patients, when in fact the professional guidelines say otherwise.

‘And there is indiscriminate use of x ray equipment – again breaching the UK guidelines for the use of x rays. Also, we still have the situation whereby anyone can set up as a chiropractor.’

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