he General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), the UK regulator of osteopaths, has brought a successful prosecution against Gerard Garrote, who practised in Lambeth, London, for unlawfully describing himself as an osteopath despite never having been on the GOsC’s Register of osteopaths.
Mr Garrote was found guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 5 May 2021, on one count 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, whether expressly or by implication, as any kind of osteopath unless registered with the GOsC.
Patient safety is the primary purpose of protecting the use of the osteopathic title. The GOsC ensures that the practitioners on its Register are safe and competent osteopaths who follow strict codes of conduct.
Mr Garrote is not currently – and has never been – registered as an osteopath with the GOsC, and is therefore not permitted to use the title of osteopath.
The offence related to information that Mr Garrote continued to provide on his websites, which implied that he was an osteopath. Mr Garrote was given warnings by the GOsC that by continuing to use the osteopathic title he may be committing a criminal offence, but despite this, he failed to make adequate amendments to his websites.
Mr Garrote was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £960 to the GOsC. He was also ordered to pay a Victim Surcharge of £100. Mr Garrote was ordered to pay both amounts by 2 June 2021.