Patients protest over abuse

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The Independent Online
MORE THAN 70 people a month are calling a charity with allegations of abuse about therapists, doctors, nurses and counsellors. Tighter regulations are needed urgently to clamp down on those who take advantage of their position to bully and abuse their clients, according to the new Prevention of Professional Abuse Network (Popan).

It also says that the complaints procedure itself can be "punitive and distressing" and can take years to conclude.

Dr Fleur Fisher, co-chair of Popan, said it was particularly worrying that a third of cases involved counsellors or psychotherapists. "No minimum standards of competence ...are required before somebody can practise as a counsellor or a psychotherapist," she added.

The Health minister Paul Boateng told Popan's AGM yesterday that the Government's General Social Care Council will have "the muscle and determination to make a difference" in these problems.