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We all know that chiropractors feel pretty desperate, after their job has been revealed as baseless (much more information at ebm-first). Nonetheless it was very surprising when I was alerted by Twitter to the fact that the London Chiropractors were claiming to have been chosen by UCL as a "Centre of Excellence".


That was the heading in the whole page devoted to crowing about this designation. The page, as it was on18th April, can be seen on freezepage.com. They even boast about our 21 Nobel prizewinners, as though they had endorsed chiropractic.

"London Chiropractor has recently been designated as a “Centre of Excellence” by University College London. The University is among the world’s leading universities as can be seen by its ranking in a variety of performance areas. Twenty-one Nobel prizewinners have come from the University’s community".


The triumphalist crowing goes on

"The designation of London Chiropractor as a Centre of Excellence is something that we are sincerely proud of. It distinguishes our clinic while providing impetus to carry on with our multi-disciplinary and evidence based treatment strategies while looking for new ways in which to improve on all aspects of our clinic at the same time and in a continuous manner."

But chiropractic is undoubtedly in deep trouble, after more that 600 complaints were submitted to the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). The GCC was forced to renounce what has always been a central myth of chiropractic, the "subluxation". The fact that most of the complaints have been rejected has revealed huge deficiencies in the GCC (some of which it recently admitted). It also reveals the uselessness of the Council for Health Regulatory Excellence (CHRE).which is meant to supervise them. More details at quackometer, Chiropractors at War with their Regulator, the GCC.

In the words of Richard Brown (president of the BCA) himself,

"The BCA sued Simon Singh personally for libel. In doing so, the BCA began one of the darkest periods in its history; one that was ultimately to cost it financially,"

Needless to say, chiropractors are trying to cash in on the Olympic games, sadly, with a little success. I suppose that invoking UCL. was part of that attempt. Like so many of chiropractors’ attempts to defend themselves, it misfired badly.

The inspection of evidence that followed the attempt by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) to sue Simon Singh showed that he was entirely justified to describe many of their treatments as “bogus” and “without a jot of evidence”.

A quick email to the UCL authorities quickly determined that the claimed endorsement was not true. Attempting to access this page now leads to “page not found". The page vanished on Sunday 22nd April, and a near identical page for the Broadgate Spine and Joint Clinic had already vanished on Friday 20th April. While it is true that two surgeons from UCL’s Institute of Sports Medicine have worked in the same building, they neither use chiropractic nor endorse it.

I’m assured that the alleged endorsement never happened. London Chiropractors won’t say where it came from. It seems that it was simply made up. I think that’s called a lie. I presume it is a sign of the desperation of chiropractors.


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12 Responses to London Chiropractor boasts of endorsement by UCL. Just make-believe again.

  • zeno says:

    Utterly bizarre.

    Broadgate Spine & Joint Clinic’s page claiming to be a UCL Centre of Excellence is still in Google’s cache and it can be seen here, replete with UCL’s logo.

  • zeno says:

    Although Broadgate have removed the main page about claiming to be a UCL Centre of Excellence, they forgot to get rid of this text on their chiro page:

    Recognised as a Centre of Excellence by University College London…

  • Blue Wode says:

    This is just another sign that chiropractic in the UK is rotten to the core.

    Perhaps the greatest scandal is that despite the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) having being forced to renounce the chiropractic “subluxation”, the concept – and its associated vitalistic practices – are alive and well in the UK, not least in Scotland where chiropractors are regulated by the GCC:

  • Blue Wode says:

    If the above link doesn’t work for anyone, try here: http://tinyurl.com/dy7ahmk

  • robbo says:

    As an alumi of UCL do I get a discount when I use their services?

  • CrewsControl says:

    I see that UCL offers an M.Sc. in Sports Medicine, Exercise and Health. The entrance requirements state that

    Applicants must hold a primary medical or allied health sciences degree (e.g. medicine, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, nursing, sports science) from a UK University (or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard) AND a minimum of one years’ post-graduation clinical experience in a relevant field.

    That could be interpreted as a tacit endorsement by UCL of back cracking as a legitimate medical treatment. A more charitable interpretation is that it is a re-education program for reformed spine manipulators

    What next? Having psychoanalysts on the UCL Neuroscience Steering Group? Oh, I see!

  • PhDelinquent says:

    Well done for the action taken, David. Good result.

    If only it were always so. I am at present acting as an independent guerilla following General Hayley Stevens in her battle against Healing on the Streets, Bath. Her complaint to the ASA was upheld (though HOTS Bath are appealing). I have told the HOTS Bath volunteers that their internet material likely breaches the Cancer Act. Their response? “Well, we still have to make a decision about removing references to cancer healing.” How arrogant! How dare they reserve a decision on whether to obey the criminal code!

    Learning, however, that a very good complaint against them has been lodged with the Charity Commission which points out, inter alia, that they are likely in contravention of the Cancer Act, I think I’ll lay off, and let the Charity Commission see the evidence.

    A while back I alerted the Royal College of Medicine about some totally whacky “healer” based in Bristol who was claiming to be a Fellow, they followed it up, confirmed that she was indeed a Fellow and had no problem with the evidence I showed them that she more or less bought her PhD online, and their implicit association and endorsement of total woo (not the words I used!).

    It’s just like playing whack-a-mole.

    Or should that be Whack-a-Quack?

  • […] I tweeted that the business “London Chiropractor” are styling themselves as  a UCL ‘Centre of Excellence’. I did not believe this and so Professor David Colquhoun of UCL took it up with the relevant authorities and the claim  turned out to be a porky. Read about it here. […]

  • @PhDelinquent
    I’m not at all surprised at the lack of response from the Royal Society of Medicine. Sadly, the RSM is a lot more interested in money than ethics.
    Just about anyone can become FRSM if they pay the fee (so it is deeply suspicious if anyone lists “FRSM” as though it were a qualification.

    They also take money for mounting anti-scientific exhibitions about Traditional Chinese Medicine (see Herbal Nonsense at the RSM).

    And they took £2500 to place Chiropractic quack, John McTimoney, on their Wall of Honour. When criticisms of their ethics were made on their web site, all the critical comments were deleted. Some of the critical comments were preserved for posterity, as a testament to the appalling conduct of the RSM.

  • PhDelinquent says:

    @David Colquhoun
    Re RSM: I know. Nothing more than a contemptible dining club. Their final response to me included an invitation to join!

    Though according to their criteria, I can indeed become a fellow of their “dining club” (food must be lousy anyway), I did not dignify this invitation with a response.

    Anyway, I am an FGS, which is at least rigorous in its application of criteria for joining and supports good dining and bloody good wine!

    And has a nice members’ sitting room and neighbours the Royal Academy and is in Piccadilly which is very handy for the Burlington Arcade.

    On the subject of my own discipline, geology, you might be amused at a well-known saying, “There is nothing as sobering as an outcrop [actual exposure of rock].”

  • BadlyShavedMonkey says:

    “London Chiropractors won’t say where it came from”


    Quacks seek the kudos of establishment recognition while showing the moral standards of timeshare salesmen.

  • BadlyShavedMonkey says:

    Was that too harsh on timeshare salesmen?

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