Challenging misleading healthcare claims

Who to complain to

There are many different kinds of organisation you can complain to about misleading claims. Who you complain to depends on what claims are being made and where the claims are being made. It may be that complaints can be made to several different organisations at the same time.

Advertising Standards Authority

Complaints about claims made in advertising can generally be submitted to the Advertising Standards Authority, but you need to check the advertising is within their remit. In summary, they cover advertising in newspapers, magazines, leaflets,

arroworangeSee the article on the Advertising Standards Authority for further details of their remit and how to submit a complaint.

Trading Standards

Complaints about claims made ...

arroworangeSee the article on Trading Standards for further details of their remit and how to submit a complaint. (coming soon)

Statutory Regulators

There are nine statutory health profession regulators in the UK:

  • General Chiropractic Council (GCC)
  • General Dental Council (GDC)
  • General Medical Council (GMC)
  • General Optical Council (GOC)
  • General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)
  • General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
  • Health Professions Council (HPC)
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

They have statutory (legal) duties to uphold and must deal with any complaint within what the law for that regulator prescribes.

arroworangeSee the article on Statutory Regulators for further details of their remit and how to submit a complaint. (coming soon)

Voluntary Regulators & Trade Associations

There are a large number of different complementary and alternative membership organisations. Some of them have codes of practice that their members must adhere to.

However, some of these codes of practice are ill-defined and are not always enforced.

One voluntary regulator that covers a variety of complementary and alternative therapies is the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). They currently provide registration to practitioners of:

  • Alexander Technique teaching
  • Aromatherapy
  • Bowen Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Naturopathy
  • Nutritional Therapy
  • Reflexology
  • Shiatsu
  • Sports & Remedial Therapy
  • Yoga Therapy

They expect to provide registration in 2011 to:

  • Microsystems Acupuncture
  • Reiki
  • Cranial Sacral Therapy
  • Healing

arroworangeSee the article on the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council for further details of their remit and how to submit a complaint. (coming soon)

arroworangeSee the article on Voluntary Regulators & Trade Associations for further details of their remit and how to submit a complaint. (coming soon)

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

The MHRA is responsible for the regulation of medicines and medical devices and equipment used in healthcare and the investigation of harmful incidents.

Homeopathic 'medicines' and herbal products are included in the MHRA's remit as are products that claim to be compliant with the Medical Devices Directive.

arroworangeSee the article on Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for further details of their remit and how to submit a complaint. (coming soon)

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