What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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Summary: “Our interest lies in the regulation of chiropractors and osteopaths because of the lack of a robust evidence base for chiropractic and osteopathic spinal manipulation. Statutory regulation rightly confers respectability and trustworthiness in the eyes of the public and these need to be protected to maintain that trust. For chiropractic and osteopathy, we do not believe statutory regulation is deserved or necessary and it gives a false imprimatur that misleads the public. Because of this, our overall view is that statutory regulation of chiropractors and osteopaths is not appropriate and recommend that this statutory regulation be abolished. We believe that adequate protection of the public can be achieved by existing regulations (such as The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008) as are applied to any other alternative therapies and businesses. However, we appreciate that this may not fall within the scope of the present consultation and we offer our responses regardless. We are concerned that some of the claims made by these practitioners are not founded in robust evidence and that they can therefore mislead. We are concerned that current statutory regulation is failing by not adequately protecting the public from such claims. We are aware that the situation regarding claims made on practitioners’ websites has significantly improved in the past three years, but we believe that much more still needs to be done and that the current regulatory framework is not fit for purpose in this regard. The Law Commissioners’ consultation on the reform of the legislation is a welcome opportunity to greatly improve the protection of the public and we hope that the Law Commissioners will note and act on our recommendations. We therefore restrict our views to those proposals and questions that directly affect the regulation of chiropractors and osteopaths and we make recommendations that we believe will enhance public protection.” (31st May 2012) [pdf]