Q. I recently had a trial session of acupuncture with a lady who is a member of the BAcC. She is a qualified practitioner (BSC, LicAC, MBAcC).
I am a regular blood donor, and my next session is due next week. However, I'm unsure whether they will let me donate as I have had acupuncture within the last 4 months. I have phoned the Blood Donor service but they were unable to advise me as they didn't have the BAcC on their 'list'.
A. I'm afraid that as the rules currently stand there is always a deferral period of four months before blood can be donated after acupuncture unless it has been delivered by a statorily regulated practitioner.
The BAcC fought long and hard to avoid this position after the previous certification scheme was dropped in an EU harmonisation programme. We pointed out at length that this meant that BAcC members, who receive years of training in safe practice, were deemed unsafe but an occupational therapist or anyone else on a statutory register could pick up needles and use them with no training, and their patients could give blood. However, SR means that someone's livlihood is at stake if they do not ensure they are properly trained, and this is seen as the best possible incentive to best practice. SR draws a very sharp line in the sand about who is and who isn't 'in.'
We estimate that this decision cost the National Blood Service about 10,000/15,000 regular donors at a time when they were appealing nationally because blood stocks were low.