Conviction upheld against Michelle Davies for misuse of osteopathic title
9 May 2023
Crown Court dismisses appeal by Michelle Davies, against successful prosecution by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), the UK regulator of osteopaths, for unlawfully describing herself as an osteopath while she was suspended from the Register.
Ms Davies appealed against a guilty verdict following a trial at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on 3 October 2022. This related to one count of using the osteopathic title while suspended from the Register during a fitness to practise investigation by the GOsC. Ms Davies’s appeal against her conviction was considered at the Crown Court at Worcester on 17 March 2023.
Using the osteopathic title while suspended from the Register 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.
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.
Ms Davies, while suspended from the Register on an interim basis until the conclusion of her fitness to practise case, is not permitted to use the title of osteopath. The offence related to information that Ms Davies continued to provide on her website which implied that she was an osteopath.
The appeal by Ms Davies was dismissed and the £800 fine remains. Ms Davies was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,728.
You can find details of all osteopaths registered in the UK by searching the GOsC’s Register: osteopathy.org.uk/register-search