Nutritionist banned from radio advertising

“Nutritionist banned from advertising on local radio” screamed the headline in my local paper this Monday. Never have I had such prominent exposure! In fact, the article was one of the most-read in The Press that day, a statistic that I am very pleased with as it gave me the chance to let as many people as possible know about the questionable decision by the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) to ban me from advertising my business, RebalanceDiabetes, on local radio (you can read the article right here by clicking on this link).

Many people might think I would be upset about that headline – surely that story can’t be good for RebalanceDiabetes can it? You might be surprised to learn, then, that it’s me who took the story to the newspapers! And I did it because I am incensed that, yet again, the powers that be are censoring patient choice. How can someone with diabetes know that there is an effective alternative if they are prevented from hearing it? Well, they are going to have to try harder if they want to shut me up! I am passionate about helping people with diabetes, and it’s going to take more that a little radio ban to stop me!

Today, my blog is dedicated to explaining why I went to the papers  – and why I have sent press releases to the nationals now that the local press have had the scoop first (which was what I agreed with them). You’ll be able to hear these distinctly UNcontroversial ads for yourself soon – because I will be sharing the podcasts via social media – so you can make your own judgement. You won’t hear me making outlandish claims of curing diabetes. I don’t claim to reverse diabetes. I don’t even claim to treat diabetes. I simply state the truth – I give nutritional advice to people living with diabetes. The people who take my advice have achieved some fabulous results – a simple fact backed up by their own GPs and practice nurses.

The RACC’s stance on my advert raises so many important issues about healthcare in the UK, and so I would like to thank The Press for airing this story and giving me a platform to bring these issues to your attention.

One of the advantages of the ban is that in the process of blocking me the RACC and their expert advisor have vetted my training and qualifications, scrutinised every sentence on my website, and insisted I send them a copy of my book, ‘the 6 diet’, for their resident dietician to read. They found absolutely everything to be perfectly in order. In fact, I am so delighted that their findings were so positive that I would love to share with you all our correspondence on the matter, so if you like a good read click here, and get stuck in!

The RACC quote in the article in The Press made it sound like I don’t have professional qualifications, but they did actually acknowledge them in written correspondence. In fact, the ONLY reason my ad was banned is because I don’t work in conjunction with the NHS and what I do does not fall under a specific NHS umbrella of Medicine, Dietetics and Nursing. I understand the need for our industry to be regulated – in fact I WANT it to be so that I CAN work alongside the NHS. What I don’t agree with is unnecessary censorship of information.

So the underlying issues are:

  1. Nutritional Therapy is indeed not a statutorily regulated profession. The UK Government did at one time (under Tony Blair) look into regulating all complementary and alternative therapies (CAM). After many months of Department of Health consultation it was subsequently decided not to continue. This decision was confirmed by David Cameron. The decision reflected that the benefits of regulating CAM would not warrant the time, effort and cost. It was also a reflection that CAM generally has a very high level of safety and that the Government has no great concerns!
  2. The fact that I work in a non-regulated profession is no big deal. I operate within the law of this land, am fully insured to do so, qualified and trained to a high standard.
  3. The medical establishment uses regulation (or lack of it) to criticise and lock out individuals and companies who offer advice and treatment outside the NHS and, in doing so, limit patient choice and access to perfectly beneficial alternatives.
  4. The RACC ban is extremely worrying because they are preventing highly trained and qualified practitioners from advertising legitimate products and services, which could not only benefit thousands of patients, but which could also save the NHS literally millions of pounds.
  5. They suggest that my ‘treatment’ of diabetes should be overseen. Well two things here – firstly I don’t ‘treat’ or claim to ‘treat’ diabetes (I offer nutritional advice to people living with diabetes), and secondly, as a non-regulated profession, I am not permitted to work with GPs, even though it’s exactly what I want to do for the sake of thousands of people living with diabetes. So how am I supposed to be ‘overseen’ anyway?
  6. The written press/media have already indicated that they would have no objection to RebalanceDiabetes being advertised via newspapers or magazines – I think in covering this story they have clearly demonstrated that!
  7. The RACC is the ONLY body that has blocked my adverts. RebalanceDiabetes has advertised in the Healthcare Directory for York all year. As the Healthcare Directory (part of the NHS framework) is available in every GP surgery, hospital or treatment centre, RebalanceDiabetes has been advertised all over the NHS. I’ve also been specifically invited to advertise separately in a GP surgery, and in York District Hospital, which I plan to do.
  8. Preventing marketing by someone operating a legitimate business is an obstruction of their right to earn a living and is a potential breach of human rights. Three lawyers have separately and independently advised there is very likely a case to be answered by the RACC. I stand to gain nothing financially by way of damages (most likely I will incur costs) but there is a fundamental matter of principle that I believe in and feel I must stand up for as it affects every CAM practitioner and patient/client who would like to use services not available through the NHS.
  9. The other thing that the RACC has so far failed to do is to provide any evidence of the ‘clause’ in their code that would prohibit my advertisements. This is also of interest to my lawyers.

The shame of banning my RebalanceDiabetes ads belongs to the RACC and their advisors, and I am happy to let the world in on it because it affects us all.

Diabetes care in the UK is poor – you only have to take a look at news headlines to know that. But don’t just take my word for it, or indeed that of the popular press – see what the National Audit Office has to say – click here; or Diabetes UK – click here.

In my home town, care standards are considered to be amongst the worst in England, as shown by the Public Health England statistics, with a dreadful record for diabetes-related amputations as covered by the local press a few months ago.

It beggars belief that patients are being deliberately prevented from finding their way to RebalanceDiabetes – a service that could help raise the standards for diabetes care to the benefit of everyone!

One Trackback

  1. By Communication with the RACC « rebalancediabetes on November 19, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    […] This won’t make an ounce of sense unless you’ve linked to this blog from my next blog – click here! […]

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