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Ofquack

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Ofquack

#1 Postby Alan H » January 20th, 2009, 1:18 pm

The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) set up shop yesterday.

This is the (voluntary) regulatory body for all sorts of quackery, set up by the Government (with the help of the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health (RoyalQuack)) and paid for by you and I. But it is toothless. All they are there to do is register quacks who sign up for their code of conduct and gives no assurances as to the efficacy of any of its regulated quack therapies. Of course, it will be seen by the public as some kind of official recognition that they things they 'regulate' are supported by evidence, etc and lead to more being conned by them.

One glimmer of hope is that one of the members of their Conduct and Competence Committee is David Colquhoun who is an anti-quack and runs the excellent DC's Improbable Science website, so he'll be a busy man! However they proudly proclaim:
The function of the CNHC Fitness to Practice Committees and Panels is not intended to be punitive.
Unbelievable.

In what can only be described as an inspired move, Andy Lewis, who runs the Quackometer site, owns the domain name ofquack.org.uk and has pointed this to the CNHC website, with the words 'Ofquack - making quacks look professional since 2008'! Brilliant!

He posted on his site about Ofquack (as it shall always now be known) in a post titled: Ofquack's Toothless Squawk. One (anonymous) commenter tried to accuse Andy of stealing CNHC's website, but all he's done is point the ofquack domain name to the CNHC's website.

I have pointed out that they have already stolen a Registered Trademark of the British Standards Institute — the word 'Kitemark®' is owned by them. Not a good start for a body there to uphold standards!

A spoof article appeared on the Daily Mask:
********************************************************************************
COMPLEMENTARY THERAPISTS TO BE REGULATED BY WITCH DOCTOR - The Daily Mash
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/heal ... 901201522/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

COMPLEMENTARY THERAPISTS TO BE REGULATED BY WITCH DOCTOR

STRICT standards must be applied to alternative medicine, according to the voodoo priest who will run the UK's complimentary therapy watchdog.

Papa Limba is the former Lib Dem candidate for Bristol North West
Haitian born Papa Limba said his first task as chairman of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council would be to identify which therapists were righteous shamans and which had the bad juju.

But the witch doctor stressed the therapists would be judged not on the effectiveness of their treatments but on the strength of their mogambo.

Limba said: "There are many frauds and not everyone has as strong a connection to the serpent god Demballa as they like to make out.

"I place my hands on their head and if their spirit vibrates to the rhythm of the ocean I give them a sticker to put in the window. If not I rub them with the mashed root of the banyan tree and we never hear of them again."

He added: "Once a year I shall visit them and cast my chicken bones on their consulting room floor. If they are still there a week later I report them to health and safety."

A CNHC official said all applicants would be judged on the four key elements: earth, fire, water and the age of the magazines in their waiting room.

Homeopaths will be able to apply for accreditiation by visualising the application form and then beaming their thoughts down the nearest ley line.

[Retrieved: Tue Jan 20 2009 12:55:02 GMT+0000 (GMT Standard Time)]

###################


It remains to be seen what they get up to.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: Ofquack

#2 Postby Alan H » January 23rd, 2009, 12:50 pm

Because Ofquack is not concerned with evidence that any of its regulated therapies actually work or are even safe, there is a petition on the Number 10 website:
The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) issues approval certificates to Supplementary, Complementary and Alternative Medicine practitioners, but this approval is currently independent of actual evidence of efficacy or safety.

It is likely that practitioners will use CNHC approval to imply efficacy and safety, even though it promises no such thing.

We, the undersigned, therefore petition that the CNHC requirements be tightened to include evidence of efficacy and safety.

Apart from the typo, it could have been better written, but still worth supporting.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan C.
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Re: Ofquack

#3 Postby Alan C. » January 23rd, 2009, 12:57 pm

I just signed the petition, No 9 :sad:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

jdc
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Re: Ofquack

#4 Postby jdc » January 27th, 2009, 9:23 pm

Thanks for linking to the petition. Signed.
My Blog; Twitter.
Email: 325jdc325 (at) googlemail.com

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Alan H
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Re: Ofquack

#5 Postby Alan H » January 27th, 2009, 11:23 pm

Alan H wrote:One glimmer of hope is that one of the members of their Conduct and Competence Committee is David Colquhoun who is an anti-quack and runs the excellent DC's Improbable Science website, so he'll be a busy man!
It transpires that they didn't know who he was until their training meeting... :hilarity:
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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grammar king
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Re: Ofquack

#6 Postby grammar king » January 28th, 2009, 3:29 am

DC's a legend. He's taken a personal interest in the homeopathy case at the University and has agreed to come and do a presentation for us! Brilliant!

jdc
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Re: Ofquack

#7 Postby jdc » January 30th, 2009, 1:58 pm

grammar king wrote:DC's a legend. He's taken a personal interest in the homeopathy case at the University and has agreed to come and do a presentation for us! Brilliant!

I'd like to second the "legend" remark - and to say that if DC's presentation is as good as the UCL lunchtime lecture I saw (they had a video up on the UCL website) then you will thoroughly enjoy it.
My Blog; Twitter.
Email: 325jdc325 (at) googlemail.com

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Alan H
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Re: Ofquack

#8 Postby Alan H » January 31st, 2009, 9:32 pm

Alan H wrote:Because Ofquack is not concerned with evidence that any of its regulated therapies actually work or are even safe, there is a petition on the Number 10 website:
The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) issues approval certificates to Supplementary, Complementary and Alternative Medicine practitioners, but this approval is currently independent of actual evidence of efficacy or safety.

It is likely that practitioners will use CNHC approval to imply efficacy and safety, even though it promises no such thing.

We, the undersigned, therefore petition that the CNHC requirements be tightened to include evidence of efficacy and safety.

Apart from the typo, it could have been better written, but still worth supporting.


We could do with many more signatures on this petition: how about we all send it to half a dozen friends, relatives or colleagues and ask them to sign it (if they want to) and pass it on?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Ofquack

#9 Postby Alan H » January 31st, 2009, 10:43 pm

Ofquack use the work 'kitemark' for their symbol of 'quality'. Pity that word is a Registered Trademark of the British Standards Institute...

http://www.bsi-global.com/upload/Produc ... 0Feb07.pdf

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ohim?ohimnum=E336198

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/domestic?domesticnum=1523922

Someone should tell them they are in breach of the BSI's Intellectual Property!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Ofquack

#10 Postby Alan H » January 31st, 2009, 10:46 pm

OK, I didn't tell OfQuack, but I've just sent the BSI the following email:

Hi

I understand that the word 'Kitemark®' is a Registered Trademark of the BSI.

It has come to my attention that this word is being used by another organisation and I suspect it has not been authorised by yourselves.

The organisation is the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), which was recently set up by the Government to 'regulate' the alternative medicine industry and which started operations on 19 January 2009.

They use the word on their website in many places, such as:
http://www.cnhc.org.uk/pages/index.cfm

Our key function is to enhance public protection, by setting standards for registration with CNHC. We anticipate that obtaining the CNHC "kitemark" will swiftly be recognised as the hallmark of quality for the sector. Over time, the general public and those who commission the services of complementary healthcare practitioners will be able to choose with confidence, by looking for the CNHC kitemark.
http://www.cnhc.org.uk/pages/index.cfm?page_id=34

What does the CNHC kitemark mean?
http://www.cnhc.org.uk/pages/index.cfm?page_id=21

Practitioners on the CNHC Register will be able to display the CNHC kitemark, which will become the general public's guide to identifying best practice in complementary healthcare provision. The kitemark can be displayed where you practice and in your publicity materials such as leaflets and websites.


Having worked in industry for 30 years and having sat on a BSI committee until I left the industry a few months ago, I understand the need to control and protect the use of Registered Trademarks. What is particularly worrying is that the CNHC claim the Kitemark® is a public sign of quality and will lead the public into understanding that the services and products offered are of a high standard, safe and that they work. This is not the case: they are there simply to ensure registrants have insurance and have undergone some kind of training.

The association of the word Kitemark® with the BSI will undeservedly enhance the CNHC's profile but diminish the BSI's as people come to associate the word with alternative therapies that are not clinically tested and do not work and even may not be safe.

I would be interested to understand your position on this.

Best regards.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: Ofquack

#11 Postby Alan H » February 4th, 2009, 12:41 am

I was browsing some quack websites (sad, I know!) and came across a discussion forum on http://www.healthypages.co.uk. They are discussing OfQuack and I though you might like some snippets of what has been said:
Not that I mind paying if it's going to mean weeding out the charlatans.

I was very annoyed to hear the BBC's Dr Rosemary Leonard refer to complementary therapies as "quackery".

The standards in CAM have for too long been hit and miss, and this new body will ensure that those on its register are properly qualified and insured, and will deal with those incompetent therapists that give us all a bad name.

If an extra £60 per year (or less) means we are another step closer to getting rid of the charlatans in our industry then I'm all for it.

Also on the BBC site the article mentions alternative therapies, which is very misleading and I wish they would stop using this word!!

How can lay people have an understanding of the complementary therapies

Did anyone read the link that Bannick posted on the quackometer - the name is enough to make me dismiss reading any of it - however I persevered until my blood pressure rose to an unacceptable level.

It lists as quackery nearly all of the complementary therapies including homeopathy and nutrition. The article honed in on the mineral analysis of hair and trainees of The Institute of Optimum Nutrition, headed by
Patrick Holford. Patrick is one of the most respected and knowledgeable nutrionists that I am aware of, author of many books and a worldwide authority on nutrition.

I fear this is another criticism of complementary medicine.
It also said on the site that homeopaths were in the process of self regulation, which seems to be what many of the different therapies are undertaking.

I did read it but these "quackbusters" are just narrow minded individuals that if you put concrete evidence right in their face, they wouldn't bother reading it. I wouldn't worry yer little cotton socks over it - even the dinosaurs finally died out.

In defence of the"quackbusters" of the world, there are some silly stuff out there, like Hopi ear candles sucking out earwax and reflexology steeringwheel covers.

I completely agree with you about weeding out the charlatans and improving the standards of training though... short weekend courses may be useful for CPD and expanding existing knowledge and interests, but I have seen very, very few (if any) of these courses that I think would lead students to an acceptable 'practitioner' level compared to more in-depth and properly accredited courses out there.

when it comes to reiki, the mind kind of boggles as to how they would regulate as most reiki courses take place over one weekend (but then the learning continues on through experience and practice over a long period of time).

Part of me is up for it on a professional basis, the other part of me sees Reiki as a path of personal and spiritual development.


These people really do believe that they have some great gift and wonder why anyone could possibly doubt it. Deluded? Not half.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24002
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Ofquack

#12 Postby Alan H » February 4th, 2009, 1:39 pm

Alan H wrote:OK, I didn't tell OfQuack, but I've just sent the BSI the following email...
I got a reply from BSI this morning and their lawyers have slapped OfQuack's wrists.
Thank you for your enquiry and your concern for Kitemark. Please be assured that we take the protection of our trademark extremely seriously and all potential mis-usage is reported to our Group Legal department where we have a team specialised in Intellectual Property and its protection.

The legal team have been in contact with CNHC about their use of Kitemark and the Co-Chair of this organisation has assured us that they did not intend to mis-use Kitemark, have issued sincere apologies and have committed to put this in writing along with a commitment not to use the word again.

If you re-visit the links you should see that they have removed reference to Kitemark. Naturally should CNHC be interested in commissioning a standard and a Kitemark scheme then BSI would be only to happy to discuss this with them.

Thank once again for your query and I hope that this clarifies the situation and our action.
As someone who has helped write European Standards representing the BSI, I want to be a fly on the wall when they discuss a British Standard for Reiki or homoeopathy!

Andy at the Quackometer has blogged about this.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan C.
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Ofquack

#13 Postby Alan C. » February 4th, 2009, 1:46 pm

A H
These people really do believe that they have some great gift and wonder why anyone could possibly doubt it. Deluded? Not half.

They're no different to fundamentalist evangelicals, I wouldn't give a toss how deluded they are, if not for their trying to draw vulnerable and gullible people into their delusion.

In defence of the"quackbusters" of the world, there are some silly stuff out there, like Hopi ear candles sucking out earwax and reflexology steeringwheel covers.

My quackery is better than your quackery :yahbooh:
:headbang:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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seantellis
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Re: Ofquack

#14 Postby seantellis » February 7th, 2009, 5:42 pm

Thanks for the signatures and the support for the petition. I noticed the typo about 1/2 a second after pressing the "submit" button, as is typical!

I wanted to make the message of the petition positive - how do we improve the CNHC - rather than just a simple rant against it.

I'd really like to get this linked from somewhere with a big audience - Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst have already signed, and Ben Goldacre is aware of it. I don't want to spam everyone. Does anyone have any ideas.

Perhaps a bus poster campaign? Does anyone here have £11000 to spare?

Oh, and I love the way that the CNHC had no idea about David Colquhoun before they appointed him as a high-ranking officer.
Sean
Follow OfQuack's antics at http://twitter.com/ofquack .

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Alan H
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Re: Ofquack

#15 Postby Alan H » February 7th, 2009, 6:25 pm

Sean

:welcome: Good to have you here! I hope you don't mind my comments about the petition — I understand what you're trying to do and I hope it succeeds.
I noticed the typo about 1/2 a second after pressing the "submit" button
That's the way these things work! :D

Having browsed a few quack websites this last week or so, there is a mixed response to OfQuack. It may well be it falls flat on its face and becomes defunct. I occasionally have a search on their search engine, but haven't found anyone registered yet. Do you know if they will publish any numbers?

I'd really like to get this linked from somewhere with a big audience - Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst have already signed, and Ben Goldacre is aware of it. I don't want to spam everyone. Does anyone have any ideas.
Just the usual: letters to the Press (local/national, New Scientist, other science journals eg Focus?). They will reach a far greater audience than we are likely to get here! If you write a Press Release, giving the background and good quotes from the likes of Ben and David, I'd like to think you have a good chance of getting it published. What about high profile doctors (I'm not implying that Ben and David aren't!)? Well-known surgeons/specialists? I'm not an expert, but have some experience in writing press releases if you can't find anyone else.

What other organisations are you in contact with? Dick Taverne at Sense about Science? The British Humanist Association's Science Group? Richard Dawkin's forum? Anyone got any other suggestions?

Perhaps a bus poster campaign? Does anyone here have £11000 to spare?
Let me check my pockets...

Oh, and I love the way that the CNHC had no idea about David Colquhoun before they appointed him as a high-ranking officer.
I know — utterly brilliant, but I can't help feeling what he can do will be severely limited by their procedures, but any sensible voice in there has got to be good.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: Ofquack

#16 Postby Alan H » February 8th, 2009, 9:47 am

I've posted about this on the BHA's members' forum. Hopefully that'll get a few more signatures.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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seantellis
Posts: 33
Joined: February 7th, 2009, 5:35 pm

Re: Ofquack

#17 Postby seantellis » February 9th, 2009, 3:17 pm

Thanks, Alan. By the way, I've just sent off a letter to Private Eye, since they mentioned OfQuack in this week's issue.
Sean
Follow OfQuack's antics at http://twitter.com/ofquack .

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Alan H
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Re: Ofquack

#18 Postby Alan H » February 9th, 2009, 4:32 pm

From the same forum I mentioned above, someone has kindly posted the questions and answers to an exam by CIBTAC:
CIBTAC is an International Examination Board responsible for the education and training of Beauty and Holistic Therapists worldwide.
I though you might like to see the exam on 'stone therapy':
CIBTAC la stone therapy past questions!!

1 - Gross profit is defined as profit: made after cost of wages and stock have been deducted

2 - Which bones contain the sinuses? Sphenoid,maxilla, temporal, frontal and ethmoid

3 - the sequence of layers of the epidermis deepest to superficial: Basal, spinosum,granulosum, lucidium, corneum

4 - Mitosis takes place in: The basal epidermal layer

5- an Autoclave sterilises by: Steam

6 - Essential food needed for growth and repair: Protein

7 - Publiv liability insurance covers: Claim from an injured person e.g customer arising from an accident connected with the business

8 - A proforma is usually sent: To new customers

9 - which of the following is classified as sterilisation: Gluteraldehyde solution and surgical spirits

10- The term sterilisation means: Complete destruction of all micro-organisms

11 -how many days should be between hot stone treatments?: 7

12 - Effects by hot or cold stones:
Vasodilation - Hot
Vasoconstriction - Cold
Increased metabolism - Hot
Anaelgesic - Cold
Toning - Cold
reduce inflammation - Cold

13 - Marble stones are best suited as - Cold Stones

14 - What should the temperature of hot stones be? 55 degrees

15 - what should the temperature of cold stones be? 10 - 15 degrees

16- What is a superficial movement? Stroking

!7 - which basalt type stone heats quicker and cools quicker? Sea basalt

18 - What effect does hot stones have on the nervous system? Calming

19 - What stone type is marble? Sedimentary

20 - The best method of cleansing hot stones is: By the sun

21 - What is the position of the solar plexus? Just below the sternum

22 - What colour is the root chakra? Red

23 - Kinetic energy is energy...... In motion

24 - a contraindication to hot stone massage is: Fever

25 - A full nody la stone therapy massage lasts: 90 minutes

26 - What is thermotherapy? A heat treatment

27 - An Aura is: A high frequency elecro-magnetic field

28 - What is not good homecare advice? Exercise after the treatment

29 - what is best used to sanitise the skin? Savlon

30 - The data protection act protects from: Inaccurate information

31 - a good source of carbohydrates is: Pasta

32 - what does NOT afftect the speed of progress? The size of the client

33 - Redness persists on the skin after treatment indicates: areas of congestion and the body is working below par

34 - Redness that is prolonged on the skin should clear in: 12-24 hours

35 - Stroking is a : Lymph drainage movement.

36 - Basalt stones - Hot
Marine stones - Cold

37 - which would you use hot or cold stones for?
Decongestion - cold
Sensitivity - Cold
Pain reducing - Cold

38- why would you be careful when working on a young client? As you may invigourate them

39 - what mineral is in Basalt stones? Plagioclase feldspar

40 - How many chakras are there? 7

41 - Warm stones are cleansed/reenegrised better in moonlight? true or false.......answer is FALSE

42 Which is a method of cleansing stones? Seasalt and water

43- what way are stones held when combing? On their edge
How many did you get right? Did you cheat?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24002
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Ofquack

#19 Postby Alan H » February 9th, 2009, 5:17 pm

Or how about the ITEC FACIAL ELECTRICAL TREATMENTS 2003/2004 exam paper? WTF are they teaching beauticians about how to wire up an electrical plug? You need to be properly trained for that. (Their answers about where the brown and blue wires go are dubious — it depends which way you're looking at the plug.)
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Ofquack

#20 Postby Alan C. » February 9th, 2009, 5:51 pm

Alan H
WTF are they teaching beauticians about how to wire up an electrical plug? You need to be properly trained for that.
you're being a bit harsh there Alan, even I can wire a plug :smile:
3.THE BROWN WIRE IN A PLUG GOES TO THE:

A)left
B)right (answer)
C)centre
D)any way

Surely the answer should be "it goes to the fuse"

It's bloody amazing the amount of nonsense that's going on out there in the world, I'm glad I live in my little bubble, safe from it all
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.


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