Do we have any health care regulators who do their job properly? Months ago I came across a pharmacist called Christine Glover, who runs Glovers Integrated Healthcare. Any use of the word `integrated’ usually means quackery of some kind, and this is one of those. But I really wonder how Mrs Glover copes with cognitive dissonance. She says she was “a former President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society”. How did a respected professional body elect a quack as president? She regards ” illness as a set of physical symptoms”. Wrong, wrong, wrong, illness has causes of which homeopaths have not the slightest understanding. She sits on the advisory board of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Science. Science? How on earth does that align with homeopathy? NHS Choices says “There is no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition”.
Pharmacist regulation has now been split off from their professional body the RPS, avoiding the obvious conflict of interest. The new GPhC‘s strapline is “Upholding standards and public trust in pharmacy”. It doesn’t seem to me that selling quackery is a standard that befits a health care professional. So I submitted a complaint via the GPhC website. So much time elapsed that I rather forgot about it, but today the reply arrived. I was more than a little irritated that they could not simply send me a normal email, they had to upload it to a secure server for which I had to register a new account before I could read it. Are they trying to keep this quiet? Well they are not going to succeed as here is the full text:
Thank you for your concern received on (sic) and apologies for the delay in getting back to you.
Within your online concern form you raised concerns about pharmacist Christine Glover.
As you may be aware, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is the professional regulation body for pharmacists, registered pharmacy technicians (‘registrants’) and registered pharmacy premises. The GPhC has jurisdiction to consider allegations which indicate that a registrant’s fitness to practise may be impaired. Fitness to practise is when someone has the skills, knowledge, character and health to do their job safely and effectively. A person’s fitness to practise may be impaired for a number of reasons including misconduct, ill-health or through having been convicted of a criminal offence.
We have assessed the details of your complaint in order to determine whether the matter falls within the GPhC’s jurisdiction.
We have formed the view that a pharmacist’s promoting of homeopathic remedies outside of a pharmacy setting does not constitute a breach of GPhC standards. Mrs Glover’s “Integrated Healthcare” clinics do not claim to be registered pharmacies and do not seem to make any misleading assertions about the efficacy of natural medicine. Accordingly, the GPhC is unable to pursue any further investigation in relation to your concern, because the issues raised do not indicate impairment of a registrant’s fitness to practise.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. A record of your complaint will be retained by the GPhC and may be considered if any further complaints are received about this pharmacist.
We should be grateful if you would share your experience of the Fitness to Practise process by completing the feedback survey at the following link: http://surveys.pharmacyregulation.org/s/review.
I don’t need to list the logical fallacies here. But in particular to say that “Mrs Glover’s “Integrated Healthcare” clinics do not claim to be registered pharmacies” is hardly the point. She clearly connects being a registered pharmacist with being a homeopath, and makes much of the former. I am not complaining about the clinic, but about the pharmacist. Also there are implied claims on the website, listed as testimonials.
The GPhC clearly has no intention of upholding standards, and cares little for public trust.