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Professional Defence Solicitors for Osteopaths
If you are an osteopath and you are facing the prospect of potentially damaging regulatory action being taken against you, it is essential to seek the right legal advice. The professional defence solicitors at JMW can help you put together a strong defence against any potential threat to your career.
Our professional defence service for osteopaths will help you know what to do when dealing with an investigation by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). We have a strong understanding of the regulator’s rules and compliance processes, and will provide tailored legal guidance to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Accusations of negligence and impropriety can be stressful and overwhelming for osteopaths, potentially putting their entire livelihoods at risk. We will work tirelessly to help you defend yourself, and give you the best chance of being able to retain your reputation and your ability to practise.
If you have an urgent enquiry, call our 24-hour legal helpline on 0800 804 8186 to access expert legal advice whenever you need it.
How JMW Can Help
At JMW Solicitors, we have many years of experience representing professionals in defending allegations brought by their regulator following a complaint. In all circumstances, we will be able to advise you on your legal rights and responsibilities and help you to make the right choices to preserve your professional standing.
We can support you in the following ways:
- Briefing you on the GOsC’s investigation processes and any legislation that may apply to your case
- Preparing written representations on your behalf during the investigation to put forward your account of events
- Representing you during key committee hearings
- Helping you to appeal against final rulings and sanctions, including suspensions or disqualifications, that you feel are unjust
Our team can represent you whether or not you are a member of a professional defence union, and will aim to resolve the investigation as smoothly and positively as possible for you. Whatever the circumstances, we will assess all of the evidence and come up with a defence strategy that will work best.
Osteopaths who are under investigation will need to respond within strict time limits, so it is essential that you contact a solicitor as soon as possible for advice.
Professional Regulation FAQs For Osteopaths
How does the GOsC’s investigation process work?
When the GOsC receives a complaint about an osteopath, it will conduct a fitness to practise or conduct investigation, as follows:
- The complaint is screened to make sure it has substance, after which the GOsC will begin gathering evidence and witness statements
- The osteopath will be contacted to provide a response to the complaint and the evidence collected thus far, giving the professional a chance to put across their own account of events
- The GOsC Investigating Committee will review the information to find evidence of unacceptable professional conduct, professional incompetence, a criminal conviction or a medical condition that would affect the osteopath’s fitness to practise
- If the committee finds there is a case to answer, a public hearing will be convened to determine whether the allegations are proven
- Subject to a finding against the practitioner, they will decide what action will be taken against the osteopath
A carefully drafted response to allegations can avoid further proceedings, or can limit the case against you. Where this is not possible, thorough preparation for a contested final hearing will ensure that your position is advanced in the best possible light.
What sanctions can the GOsC impose?
If the GOsC Professional Conduct Committee chooses to uphold the complaint, it may impose one of the following sanctions:
- An official admonishment, which will be kept on record
- Specific conditions for change and improvement that the osteopath must meet within a specified period of time
- Suspension from the GOsC register for a set period, after which the osteopath may need to undergo additional training before being allowed to return
- Disqualification from the GOsC register, meaning the osteopath will no longer be allowed to practise
If you disagree with a ruling that has been handed to you by GOsC, it may be possible to pursue an appeal at the High Court. Due to strict time limits, you will need to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible to find out how to approach this.