HL Deb 11 March 1980 vol 406 cc1065-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether in the light of the report of the DHSS Working Group on Back Pain that the fundamental need is for further des criptive clinical study"… and that it should command high priority, they will take note of the recent comprehensive report of the New Zealand Government's Commission of Inquiry into chiropractice; and, if so, whether they will suggest to that Government an exchange of research staff or some other method of accelerating the necessary clinical study.


My right honourable friend has noted the Report of the New Zealand Commission of Inquiry, which recommends (chapter 37, paragraph 139) that the New Zealand Chiropractors' Association formulate a proposal for a clinical trial or trials on some aspect of chiropractic treatment to be conducted in co-operation with one of the clinical medical schools in New Zealand. I said during the debate on my noble friend's question on chiropractice on 21st November last (Official Report, vol. 403, col. 271) that research into the causes and treatment for back pain is already given high priority by my right honourable friend and that adequate resources are available to his Department and to the Medical Research Council for support to be given to any soundly based research proposals in this field including comparative studies involving heterodox therapies. This remains the position. Research proposals with which the British Chiropractors' Association is associated are at present under consideration by my right honourable friend's department. Her Majesty's Government see no reason why research in this country and New Zealand should not proceed in parallel, thus possibly contributing greater knowledge in total, and see no need for research staff to be exchanged specifically for this purpose.