The General Chiropractic Council has issued guidance on delegating the care of patients to non-registrants.

The advice related to a fitness to practise case where the General Chiropractic Council‘s (GCC) investigating Committee (IC) meeting heard a complaint from a patient who had unknowingly received treatment from a non-registered healthcare employee while under the care of a registrant. The patient believed the employee was a chiropractor, only discovering otherwise after several treatment sessions.

In response, the GCC wrote on its website:

“We know that using non-registered employees to assist with a patient’s treatment is commonplace in some multi-disciplinary practices. However, it remains the registrant’s responsibility to ensure that a patient is aware and understands the professional status of any non-registered employee and provides their consent on that basis before any additional treatment commences.

“A GCC registrant is also responsible for ensuring that any additional treatment offered to their patient is safe. Failure to do so may result in a complaint to the GCC about the registrant. The IC will consider the extent to which the registrant is responsible for the care provided by a non-registered person.

“Most patients will not recognise the difference between a registered healthcare professional and other employees who may be involved in their care. Patients of a GCC registrant can be assured that their healthcare professional’s knowledge and skills are maintained and up to date. Furthermore, patients can be assured that a GCC registrant will ensure their safety and take responsibility for their overall assessment and care while receiving treatment (Principle G, Standards 1,2,5 and 6). This cannot be said for non-registered employees.”

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