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Press releases

We have carefully reviewed the list of business closures issued by the Government late on 14 January and are assured that we do not fall within the ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine’ category for the purpose of the closures. This list of closures refers to ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine’ in the context of retail and the selling of products. In contrast, our members provide medical treatments which have been given exemption under Personal Care Facilities and Close Contact Services.

This position is echoed by the Government in its closure list under Personal Care Facilities and Close Contact Services:

‘Personal care services provided for essential medical and health needs, which cannot be deferred, may continue. For example, treatments for a diagnosed health condition or injury that is currently causing severe pain or mobility issues, or severely impacting quality of life, or for cosmetic treatments associated with cancer treatment. This does not extend to services provided for general stress relief, relaxation or preventative healthcare purposes. The guidance on safer working in the Close Contact Services should be followed.’

Furthermore, the BAcC, through the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), sought and received reassurance from the Department of Health and Social Care regarding accredited registers.

The BAcC, (and other accredited registers) have been provided clarification for our members’ position. The guidance below is from the PSA: 


The BAcC contends that as accredited acupuncturists providing medical and health treatments, aligned with the PSA, we do not fall within the business closure listing updated on 14 January and members practising in England may maintain the position of treating patients with urgent medical needs.

The Welsh Government has come to the unfortunate decision of restricting members to remote-only practice from Friday 23 of October until the start of Monday 9 November

This is because, in contrast to the other three nations of the UK, the Welsh government mentions acupuncture specifically as a service that is required to close.

We believe that this decision is based on erroneous classification of acupuncture with unrelated therapies, overlooking it as a legitimate professional health service. We are as disappointed as you are with this outcome, and along with the RCHM, have been working hard to appeal to the Welsh Government to reverse their decision.

As part of this effort the BAcC have written a letter to the First Minister and Health Minister, as well as other key figures in Wales explaining what we believe to be a mistake in their judgement, and a recommendation to reverse their decision.

A copy of this letter can be found below.

The chief executive of the British Acupuncture Council has warmly welcomed steps by the government to help the self-employed but warned that not being able to access funds before June could be problematic.

Jennifer Norton said the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak this evening [26 March 2020], would provide a ‘lifeline’ to self-employed acupuncturists, but those in need of immediate financial assistance may  struggle.

The measures were announced as part of a raft of economic assistance being delivered by the government during the coronavirus lockdown.

Ms Norton said: “I welcome the move by the Chancellor to support self-employed people durng these unprecedented times to provide parity with employed people.

The chief executive of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has said its members ‘stand ready’ to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Jennifer Norton said BAcC members were highly qualified healthcare practitioners who have been trained in physiology and western medical science as well as traditional Chinese medicine.

She was speaking in response to a call by Health Secretary Matt Hancock for 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS.
There is a growing body of evidence showing that acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of conditions including pain, the side effects of cancer treatment, anxiety and much more.

We are closely monitoring developments in the situation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The health of our members, their patients and our staff is paramount in all of our decision making.


The BAcC office remains open


Of course, this is a dynamic situation and we continue to follow Government and Public Health England’s advice so we can monitor and plan accordingly.


We will be regularly contacting our members to keep them up to date with ongoing actions that need to be taken.

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