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British Pain Society head comments on ousting of Paul Watson

27 August 2009 - 10:20am

The new acting head of the British Pain Society has expressed his shock and regret at the way his predecessor Professor Paul Watson was ousted by some of its members.

Sir Michael Bond said the ‘unpleasant’ events around Prof Watson’s forced resignation had angered many within the Society and threatened its stability. In a letter to CSP chief executive Phil Gray, Sir Micheal wrote: ‘We deplore the blogs which vilified Paul and which were offensive to your Society and the profession of physiotherapy.’ Prof Watson is head of pain management and rehabilitation at Leicester University and was an independent clinical adviser to the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence on its guidance on low back pain, published in May. The BPS was heavily critical of the guidance. Prof Watson resigned as president after a group of BPS members passed a motion alleging a conflict of interest at an emergency meeting in July. The vote caused a furore and NICE chair Sir Michael Rawlins expressed outrage, saying the highly respected expert had been victimised for his role as an advisor. The CSP echoed these views. Sir Michael has also written to Phil Gray, distancing the BPS governing council from what happened but he is urging members not to quit over the issue. The BPS council says it stands by its concerns over parts of the guidance, however, believing it ‘not to be in the best interests of many patients’. Frontline story Physio subjected to ‘professional victimisation of the worst kind’

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