General Osteopathic Council successfully prosecutes Habib Chharawala for unlawfully describing himself as an osteopath
10 February 2020
The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), the UK regulator of osteopaths, has brought a successful prosecution against Habib Chharawala, of Lambeth, London, for unlawfully describing himself as an osteopath after he had previously been removed from the GOsC’s Register of osteopaths.
On 15 January 2020, Mr Chharawala appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to one count of using the osteopathic title while not registered with the GOsC, contrary to section 32(1) of the Osteopaths Act 1993.
Since the passing of the Osteopaths Act 1993, the osteopathic title is protected and 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.
In early 2017, following an investigation into his fitness to practise as an osteopath, Mr Chharawala was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct at a hearing before a Professional Conduct Committee and was removed from the GOsC’s Register of osteopaths. From 17 February 2017, Mr Chharawala was no longer permitted to use the osteopathic title.
The latest offence related to information that Mr Chharawala continued to provide on his clinic website, namely references which implied that he was an osteopath, after he had been removed from the GOsC’s Register of osteopaths. Despite warnings from the GOsC to Mr Chharawala that by using the osteopathic title he may be committing a criminal offence, he failed to make adequate amendments to his clinic website.
Mr Chharawala was fined £1,000 plus a victim surcharge of £100 and ordered to pay costs of £657.70 to the GOsC.
You can find details of all osteopaths registered in the UK on the GOsC’s website. To search the Register please visit osteopathy.org.uk/register-search.