Comments on the HPC’s declaration of aims – 31st March, 2011

by Julia Evans on April 11, 2011

Note:  the reason regulation has been taken from the Health Professions Council (HPC) is that the Lord Chief Justice on December 10th 2010 was extremely rude about the way Parliament is using Privy Council power.  [Footnote 1] Incidentally, in May 2009 the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee minuted [Footnote 2] some of the objections to this legislation.  There is, of course, no evidence to prove need nor is there evidence that what is in place works unsatisfactorily.  And this does not deter those who see a financially secure future, working within the Government’s high risk Mental Health and Wellbeing Industry [See footnote 3].  Or those who will not let go their western medical framework as in the Psychiatric profession.  Yes, it is possible to treat Mental Health and Wellbeing without being a doctor or psychiatrist or having a University degree.

The HPC are fighting for their existence.  And they are fighting dirtily.

In the last 3 years the HPC has managed to find 2, yes two, cases of psychopractitioners who were alleged to be abusive.  The HPC, of course, notified the national press so all the salacious details of human distress could be printed and enjoyed.  Therefore, these cases were published before the verdicts were reached.  One of them was chucked out so titillating details of a case, now dismissed, are in the public domain.  The other continues to practice as a ‘voice coach’ the last time I looked.

The HPC continues to trawl assiduously for the biggy to justify their existence.  It does not exist.  Yes, abusive practice does exist.  Practice which is abusive is very difficult to prove as is proof of guilt in divorce cases.  Both rely on evidence of what has happened in a relationship between two people – there is no such thing as standard abuse.  Of course, criminal acts of financial, physical or sexual abuse must be prosecuted and this does not rely on the HPC.  I have never heard of the application of a psychopractice killing anyone. The prevention of another Shipman is the reason for this protective law. (Health Professions Order 2001 made HPO2001)  Shipman, a very good doctor, did kill using medical practice, perversely.  A psychopractioner cannot use their practice to murder their clients.  Why is Parliament still allowing the HPC to exist?

The rumour is that Anne Milton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Health, has appeared in writing stating that registration with the HPC will not go ahead.  It only took the Lord Chief Justice to bring her to her senses: the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee was not good enough to impinge.  Does the HPC take the hint?  Oh no!  They continue, with their friends: those who want to be sole suppliers to the Government’s high risk Mental Health and Wellbeing Industry [See Footnote 3], to create registers for psychopractitioners.  This is perverse.

Put aside your prejudices from reading about pervs in the gutter press.  It is possible to act perversely without committing a criminal sexual act.  Look at the dictionary definition below.  The HPC are acting contrary to the limits in the Health Professions Order 2001 and without authority from Parliament delegated via the Privy Council.  They are perverse or acting above the law or contrary to that expected in Law.

Will Parliament stop them?  Oh no!  They still want to believe the fantasy that  safe treatments and complete protection from human beings abusing one another can be mandated with the side-benefit of a decrease to their costs in treating conditions labelled as Mental Health.

Julia

Note:  Originally circulated to regx2 group

Perverse (Oxford Concise Dictionary 10th edition):  Perverse adj:

1.  showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave unacceptably.

2. contrary to that which is accepted or expected in Law (of a verdict) & against the weight of evidence or the direction of the judge

Perversion n: the action of perverting

Pervert v: 1. alter from its original meaning or state to a corruption of what was first intended

2. lead away from what is right, natural or acceptable

FOOTNOTES

Footnote 1: The Health Professions Council is set up by HPO2001.  It answers in to the Privy Council which was set up by King Henry VIII.  This is called secondary legislation.  In the quote below the Lord Chief Justice is “rather horrifed” at the way King Harry’s despotic power is being used by Parliament.   Lord chief justice attacks ministers’ quango plans.  Lord Judge, the lord chief justice, has undermined plans to abolish a raft of quangos, calling them a threat to the judiciary by , The Guardian, Friday 17 December 2010  Quote: Lord Judge, the lord chief justice, mounted his attack on the central clause of the public bodies bill, schedule 7 – empowering ministers to abolish a raft of named quangos without the need for primary legislation. The use of so-called Henry VIII clauses – from a 1539 statute that gave the king power to legislate by proclamation, without further parliamentary scrutiny – allows independent bodies to be shut through secondary legislation.  …..

The peers have already voted against the use of Henry VIII clauses in the public bodies bill, but ministers had planned to overturn the defeat in the Commons. But there seemed to be a view that the government will have to rethink. The lord chief justice widened his attack to deride the entire use of Henry VIII clauses by both Labour and Tory governments.

He said he was “rather horrified” to discover that something like 120 acts of parliament with Henry VIII clauses had been enacted in the 2008-9 session. “I think that is astonishing. I mean in times of war you don’t have Henry VIII clauses.” He pointed out that the original clauses were repealed immediately on the king’s death.

Footnote 2:  Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee Eleventh Report May 2009

B.  Draft Health Care and Associated Professions (Miscellaneous Amendments and Practitioner Psychologists) Order 2009Summary: This Order makes a number of amendments to the governance arrangements for the General Dental Council, the Health Professions Council, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, as well as various consequential amendments. It also introduces, for the first time, statutory regulation of practitioner psychologists throughout the United Kingdom and statutory regulation of pharmacy technicians in Scotland. The Committee has received correspondence from a number of psychotherapists and those practising similar disciplines: while many of the concerns expressed relate to a possible future Order, some of the issues mentioned, such as potential distortion of the market as a result of only regulating part of it, might arise as a result of the current instrument. A number of those currently practising in this field argue that the “one size fits all” approach to the regulation of the health professions will cause significant damage to their profession. They are asking that the Department of Health provide stronger evidence of the need to move away from voluntary regulation and how the policy proposed will increase the protection of the public. In debate, the House may wish to explore these issues further.This Order is drawn to the special attention of the House on the ground that it gives rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the House.

20.  However the Committee has received a range of letters from psychotherapists and those practising similar disciplines, who might be regulated under this second phase, expressing their objections.[5 See list below]

Recurring themes in this correspondence include:

reputable therapists already belong to an appropriate professional associations such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) on a voluntary basis

moving responsibility for regulation across to HPC will undermine the role of these professional organisations and the protection that they provide to the public

DH provide no evidence of existing malpractice to justify this change or that existing voluntary regulators are failing to address concerns

there are already laws in place to deal with financial, sexual or physical abuse

those who are unable to practise using the seven reserved titles will be able to continue to do so under another name, e.g., business psychologist; and so the proposed system will be ineffective in protecting the public, as these individuals will continue to operate but outside of any statutory framework

there is a very wide range of psychotherapies (570 training bodies have been identified ) that HPC will need to consider

the choice of therapist is very personal to the client and by “scientizing” psychology the NHS is both narrowing choice and restricting therapists’ ability to practice within the NHS

the client can often have mixed emotions about a therapist and this may lead to unfounded complaints; however, once a complaint is made that professional may be required to cease practising until it has been investigated. This could have consequences for other clients due to the interruption of their therapies

therapists are predominantly active in the private sector which is outside HPC’s previous experience and regulatory interventions may have a significant impact on the psychotherapists’ income

21.  While many of the concerns expressed by the psychotherapists relate to a possible future Order, some of the issues mentioned in correspondence, such as potential distortion of the market as a result of only regulating part of it, might arise as a result of the current instrument. A number of those currently practising in this field argue that the “one size fits all” approach to the regulation of the health professions will cause significant damage to the profession. They are asking that DH provide stronger evidence of the need to move away from voluntary regulation and how the policy proposed will increase the protection of the public. In debate the House may wish to explore these issues further.

5   Correspondence has been received from Dr Kevin Baker, Psycho-Practitioner (letter of 2 January 2009), Tim Brown, Psychotherapist (email of 18 February 2009), Dr E A Campbell, President of the British Psychological Society (letter of 9 January 2009), Vincent Dachy, Psychoanalyst (letter of 19 February 2009), John Gloster-Smith, Business and Life Coach (letter of 7 January 2009), Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy (article) , Jenny Nicholson, Psycho-practitioner (letter of 25 February 2009), Denis Postle, Psycho-practitioner (letter of 20 February 2009), Justin Smith, Psychotherapist (letter of 16 February 2009) and Joseph Stuart, Psychotherapist (letter). Copies can be obtained from the Committee Secretariat, or the Parliamentary Archives (020-7219 3074).

Footnote 3:  The term ‘high risk health industry’ was coined by the Chief Medical Officer, Lord Donaldson in his 2006 report.  Good doctors, safer patients: Proposals to strengthen the system to assure and improve the performance of doctors and to protect the safety of patients