The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), the UK regulator of osteopaths, has brought a successful prosecution against Amanda Purcell, who practised in Bury, Manchester, for unlawfully describing herself as an osteopath after she had previously been removed from the GOsC’s Register.
Ms Purcell was found guilty at Wigan Magistrates’ Court on 21 June 2021, on two counts of using the osteopathic title while not registered with the GOsC. This is contrary to section 32(1) of the Osteopaths Act 1993.
Since the passing of the Osteopaths Act 1993, the osteopathic title is protected, which means it is a criminal offence for any person to describe themselves as, or to imply that they are any kind of osteopath unless they are registered with the GOsC.
Ms Purcell was originally on the GOsC’s Register but was removed in June 2011, and is therefore no longer permitted to use the title of osteopath.
The offences related to information that Ms Purcell continued to provide on her website and Facebook page, which included expressly referring to her being an osteopath. Ms Purcell was given warnings by the GOsC that by continuing to use the osteopathic title she may be committing a criminal offence, but despite this, she failed to make adequate amendments to the information she provided online.
Ms Purcell received a conditional discharge for 12 months and was ordered to pay costs of £1,600 to the GOsC. She was also ordered to pay a Victim Surcharge of £21.