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Acupuncturists ‘stand ready’ to help NHS fight coronavirus

Acupuncturists ‘stand ready’ to help NHS fight coronavirus

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.

Ms Norton said: ‘Our 3,000 members stand ready to assist our NHS colleagues in whatever way we can. Whether it is with complementary treatments for non-coronavirus patients, helping NHS staff cope with the pressures they are facing, or any other levels of support, we stand ready.

'We are urging the government to use our skills in the fight against this pandemic.’

She has also written a letter to Mr Hancock setting out some of the concerns expressed by BAcC members.

Following the prime minister's announcement on Monday 23 March that the country was going into lockdown, the British Acupuncture Council advised its members to postpone private acupuncture treatments and close their clinics.

The BAcC is urging the government to bring forward measures to support self-employed workers in the UK, given that the majority of its members are sole traders and are experiencing high levels of financial anxiety.

‘There are unanswered questions around whether complementary therapists can continue to practise under the “medical care” exemption clause and whether they are recognised as allied healthcare professionals for this purpose’, she said.

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Notes to editor

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For a full list of British Acupuncture Council press releases visit the newsroom.

About the BAcC

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has a membership of nearly 3,000 professionally qualified acupuncturists. It is the UK's largest professional body for the practice of acupuncture. BAcC members practise a traditional, holistic style of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment based on a system developed and refined over 2,000 years. To achieve BAcC membership, practitioners must first undertake extensive training in traditional acupuncture (minimum three years full-time or part-time equivalent), which includes physiology, anatomy and other biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture.

Traditional acupuncture

Traditional acupuncture as practised by members of the BAcC is based on Chinese medicine principles that have been developed, researched and refined for over 2,500 years. Traditional acupuncture is holistic, not focused on isolated symptoms. It regards pain and illness, whether physical or mental, to be a sign the whole body is out of balance. Western or medical acupuncture is a more recent development practised predominantly by doctors and physiotherapists, who use acupuncture techniques within their existing scope of practice on the basis of a western medical diagnosis. There is a growing body of evidence showing how effective acupuncture is in a range of conditions:

Why use a BAcC practitioner?

Only British Acupuncture Council members belong to a Professional Standards Authority accredited register, providing professional guarantees of safety, education and continuing development (professionalstandards.org.uk)

Look for the letters MBAcC after the name of your acupuncturist to ensure:

  • extensive training – minimum three years degree level – with relevant western medicine including anatomy and physiology
  • adherence to BAcC codes of safe practice and professional conduct
  • compliance with current health and safety legislation
  • full insurance cover for medical malpractice and public/products liability
  • mandatory continuing professional development to keep knowledge and skills up to date
  • postgraduate study of special interests such as pain management and acupuncture for children

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BAcC Factsheets

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Press Contact

Katie Osborne

Tel: 07990 922615