The majority of acupuncture provision in the NHS is through GPs and physios, both of whom offer acupuncture treatment within their existing scope of practice, i.e. it can be used as another tool in the toolbox for what they normally do. However, they are both limited by the evidence accepted in the west and by NICE guidelines in what they can offer, so treatment for many of the conditions for which people seek treatment from a traditional acupuncturist would not be available from a GP even if they did regularly offer acupuncture treatment.
There is very limited traditional acupuncture provision within the NHS. A small number of BAcC members are funded by PCTs and GP consortia to provide free treatment, but unless you are fortunate enough to live within the catchment area of one of these groups or individuals there is not much we can offer.
It is worth pointing out, though, that the majority of BAcC members are prepared to discuss their fees if someone really needs treatment but is unwaged or on benefits. There are also a number of multibed clinics set up by BAcC members which offer treatments in group settings for slightly lower fees. There are no rules set for these arrangements, and while few practitioners offer free treatments, many are willing to consider substantial reductions if someone's health is at stake.
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