Dr Les Bailey discusses why the General Osteopathic Council should be disbanded
How the General Osteopathic Council are destroying a once great profession.
The view of an "old school" practitioner, Dr Les Bailey.
I was once registered with the General Osteopathic Council and was there at the beginning of what should have been a great landmark for the osteopathic profession.
In 2004, I resigned as I could see a great exodus of old school osteopaths shying away from this government quango.
In the old days, pre the council, the osteopaths were split into different associations, e.g., the Guild of Osteopaths, the British and European Osteopathic Association, the Register of Osteopaths, the College of Osteopaths, and things ran smoothly. I was a member of the Guild of Osteopaths and the British and European Osteopathic Association, as well as an advisory member of the British Register of Complementary Medicine.
I was also a senior lecturer at the Northern Counties School of Osteopathy.
All these associations folded when it was announced that the government had "recognised"
I digress back to the old days a minute to say that while we were split into rival associations, we all competed to be the best, and truth be told, osteopathy became better and better.
However, there were always the political animals in each association that wanted the power in the arena, and it was these grey suits that ended up running the General Osteopathic Council. We old school osteopaths were too busy treating our patients to have the time to run around looking important.
The grey suits got into power and the council was formed.
One had to be a member to use the term "osteopath" (a term I have always thought rather silly, as we don't treat bones, we treat joints, muscles and soft tissue) and so the quango was in force promising us great PR in the press and educating the public as to what we do and therefore offering us greater recognition.
For this they charged us a huge membership fee and, in all honesty, conned us.
Many of the old school great Osteopaths I had worked with didn't register and carried on under different titles.
There was little PR, and still today, the average man in the street knows nothing about what an osteopath does, but the damage goes deeper than that.
Since the council sent its grey suits into the schools, the students are coming out woefully short on actually being able to actually treat patients effectively. The reason for this is that many great techniques have been stopped due to spurious health and safety reasons.
One example of this is the lumbar lift, a beautifully safe technique that can be used even in cases of disc involvement or spondylolisthesis both safely and effectively. The reason given is that the osteopath may hurt their own back and sue the college for teaching them the technique. The list of rubbish like this is endless and has been of great detriment to the future patients.
When I have interviewed for Osteopaths to join our clinic, I have been shocked by how weak their treatments are. Being the philanthropist I am, I have allowed them to accompany me treating patients and taught them the old school way to get patients out of pain quickly and painlessly. Sadly, I have been shocked by their weak treatments upon graduation.
My thoughts are that within 20 years, osteopathy will go the way of modern physiotherapy and be sadly next to useless. One wonders if the drug companies have orchestrated this turn of events so they can keep people reliant on painkillers.
A good friend of mine who is an old school chiropractor says he has noticed the exact same happening to chiropractic.
At our clinic I was due to have an osteopath join us, and out of respect I put the General Osteopathic Council's logo on our shop front. Being quite vociferous about my anti-council feelings, I became a target for them and was taken to court by them and fined as it was a few weeks before he was due to start! He is with us now and is a very effective osteopath (Usman Kasser).
What has annoyed me has been the adverse press they created, implying I was "posing" as an osteopath!! Truth is, I would not wish to use this title ever again, as people come to me when modern trained osteopaths have failed them.
With this slant on overzealous health and safety teaching, osteopathy is failing to be taught properly and the end result is the poor patients are not getting the results they hoped for.
As an old school trained practitioner, and with over 36 years in practice, no one has been hurt and thousands have been successfully treated.
If only the political animals amongst us would get up and crush this useless quango, we could be great again.
How about we all leave the General Osteopathic Council, as I and many others have, and form a new association, pay half the fee, and let the public know we are no longer called osteopaths and choose a new name? This way we may get many old school osteopaths back on board and improve things.
Meanwhile, newly trained osteopaths are welcome to come and watch me work and learn a few old tricks that will help your patients.
Dr Les Bailey is a proud physical therapist and is at the Back and Joint Pain Centre,175 Coulsdon Rd, Caterham, Surrey, cr3 5nu, 01883341949.
Page Updated Last on: Nov 03, 2016