Future Regulation? (12 posts)

  • Profile picture of LCSP LCSP said 5 years, 2 months ago:

    Through the years there have been very many attempts at trying to organise the Complementary medical professions into different groups, sub groups, special interest groups all with the broad idea of promoting and developing the therapies making them more accessible to the public and in the process increasing their acceptance on the periphery of conventional medicine. With all this effort there has been only sporadic success.
    With acceptance and acknowledgment comes responsibility and accountability and it is this accountability that has lead to Govt intervention into the regulation of Complementary therapies. In our specific field of Bodywork we have seen the birth firstly of the GCMT (General Council for Massage Therapies) their purpose was to bring together the main Professional Associations in our field in the common cause of promoting the therapy of massage etc to the public and show a united face of the profession to the Govt. This was repeated by other ‘Lead bodies’ doing a similar job for their particular therapies.
    More recently the Government initially funded the start of the CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council) and this body many of you are very well aware and indeed are members of. The remit for the CNHC was more to be there and act for the protection of the public to give our patients a ‘benchmark’ of quality and a further avenue for complaints etc.
    Now there is another tier been created through Govt intervention in the shape of the CHRE (Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence) which has changed its name from 1st December 2012 to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), Now the PSA is indeed a large player in the medical field already being responsible for the overseeing of General Chiropractic Council, General Dental Council, General Medical Council, General Optical Council, General Osteopathic Council, Health Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland and the General Pharmaceutical Council.
    This body was set up under the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002. It is an independent non-departmental public body, funded by the Department of Health and answerable to Parliament. It was set up to co-ordinate standards and good practice amongst the bodies responsible for regulating healthcare professions in the UK. It is now their intention to oversee the regulation of Complementary Medicine in the UK.
    This is the situation as I believe it be at the present time;
    Statutory Regulation of Complementary therapies is not an option and will not be happening.
    Voluntary Regulation is currently active through the CHNC
    Self Regulation is currently practiced successfully by most of the P A’s
    Assured Voluntary Regulation (AVR) is what is being proposed by the PSA
    The PSA is different from CHNC as they are a part of the Govt, they currently run 9 regulatory bodies and they are run by career civil servants.

    The application process to hold a AVR is now underway, the initial application fee (non refundable) is £12,000 and the annual renewal fee is £9,000. These figures do not include any administration fees or other incurred costs! Naturally with such high costs this will most likely restrict the applications to hold an AVR to larger organisations (CNHC is intending to apply), there may well be some other large Professional Associations that will apply.
    The PSA have also said they will take application from a ’cluster group’ this being a group of smaller similar therapy based organisations who wish to group together to apply for an AVR. These smaller groups would have to show commonality in purpose, standards, CPD and disciplinary procedures. The main benefit here is in the ability to share the high costs. The LCSP Register is involved with a cluster group at the moment but only in the discussion phase.

    So my questions to you are; Do you think we need this regulatory process?
    Would you like the LCSP Register to be more involved?
    How do you think this could/might benefit individual members and their particular working situations?
    Let us utilise our interactive facility within the website and make this a debate that will help me and the Board to be much more aware of your particular feelings on this subject. The details above I will place on the members’ notice board within the secure members section of the website and I look forward to seeing your ideas, comments and opinions on this subject.
    This is an important matter and I need to know your feelings and thoughts, the Board will always act in the best interests of the Register and its members, but we do have this facility so lets use it ! let me know what you think!


  • Given the direction in which self regulation / regulation generally seems to be heading I think that the LCSP Register needs to be part of this process. It would seem sensible, given the cost, for the LSCP to join with other similar appropriate bodies to form a cluster group and apply for Assured Voluntary Regulation (AVR) under the PSA. If the LCSP is successful in applying for AVR then surely it would then have the same status as the likes of the HPC? Would this then not benefit the members who would become accepted by Medical Aids?
    It is interesting that the CNHC is intending to apply to hold an AVR. I am registered with the CNHC but as a massage therapist (not manipulative and cranial therapy in which I am also qualitied, not that this really seems to matter since the public appears to focus on membership rather than specific areas of qualification). I gained registration with the CNHC owing to my registration with the LCSP. If CNHC qualifies for AVR then does it not follow that the LCSP should also qualify for AVR automatically; since the CNHC have accepted the standards of the LCSP in the first instance? In which case the LCSP could apply in its own right and the only purpose of the cluster group would be to reduce costs?

  • Profile picture of Douglas Cyril Aistrup Douglas Cyril Aistrup said 5 years, 1 month ago:

    I totally agree with your comments, The LCSP needs to apply for the AVR in its own right so that the whole register is covered, which it isn’t with the CNHC. Let us have recognition of our practice and therapies.

  • Profile picture of Deleted User said 5 years, 1 month ago:

    If the LCSP either alone or with a cluster group applied for AVR with the PSA then presumably this would replace the necessity for any LCSP member to be a member of the CNHC? However if the LCSP did not apply to the PSA, then members could join the CNHC (if not already members) and would then be under the PSA banner.

    There just seems to be more & more regulation and I’m not sure that any of this has improved the profile of Remedial Massage Therapy. When questioning my own patients over the last week none of them had even heard of the CNHC or what they did (even though I have my certificate displayed & their logo on my business cards etc). When I became a member of the CNHC I contacted numerous GP surgeries in my area and none of them were remotely interested.

    I do not see that LCSP applying for registration with the PSA will have any benefit to individual LCSP members.

  • Profile picture of Catherine A Harland Catherine A Harland said 5 years, 1 month ago:

    If by joining the PSA will improve communications between other health care proffesionsals as some of you are aware it is a battle for the LCSP therapist to be accepted into the NHS and some GPs sergurys. If the LCSP joined as a cluster group the cost would be minimal to the members. I aslo beleive that regulation is an important part of our responsability to our customers because there are still a lot of shall we say incompitant therapists in all fields of practise. In this day of claiming compensation and injury regulations are a must to protect ones self as well as their client. regards Cathy

  • Profile picture of Deleted User said 5 years, 1 month ago:

    Joining the CNHC was supposed to indicate that therapist were professional, trained to an agreed standard & worked to an approved code of conduct. CNHC registration was supposed to be acceptable to the NHS/GP’s, but in my area it seems to have made no difference. In view of this, I fail to see why PSA registration will make any difference. Surely CNHC registration is making the point to the general public etc that you are a competent therapist, if not, whats the point of the CNHC?

  • Profile picture of Stephen G Foster Stephen G Foster said 5 years, 1 month ago:

    I can quite see both arguments, we do want to be seen as professional in every respect and therefore regulation in whatever format will only enhance that. Naturally there will be a cost involved and this latest possibility with the PSA will not be inexpensive. I believe one important thing we must not confuse is ‘regulation is not necessarily recognition’, this we found out with CNHC and Geraldine clearly stated.
    I have personal experience of the PSA and I can tell you that you do not receive a certificate or document of any kind, there is no ‘logo’ or ‘kitemark’ to use on stationary, they do not advertise themselves or any therapies/therapists. So you personally do not receive anything in obvious tangible benefits. Yes, I agree if you were to work within the NHS sector in whatever capacity they would probably insist that you were ‘registered’ under the PSA. How many of our members would this effect? Are not the greater majority of our practitioners self employed? How many of us have been asked or quizzed by our patients who we are registered with?
    As I said I can see both sides, but I am concerned that some people may be hoodwinked into thinking that this route is the ‘holy grail’ to recognition and I am not convinced that it will be.

  • Profile picture of Mark A Fairclough, BSc(Hons) Mark A Fairclough, BSc(Hons) said 5 years, 1 month ago:

    I have started a new thread in the misc section regarding my interesting recent first hand experience of the massage profession in Australia. The second half of my article deals with my personal thoughts on UK regulation.
    National Regulation is fine to an extent, however in the UK there seems to be fragmented extensive repetitive tiers of regulation and accountability and continual policing and focus of public protection. I accept these policies need to be in place but just regulated by one only National Government body, and not be accountable and scrutinised by several sources -it is confusing and could be a deterrent to new and part time practitioners. The fact that Professional Massage Therapists have met the strict criteria and qualified to be automonous professionals, be working safe and effectively, and carry out regular structured CPD should be all that is required and checked by one National body only.
    As a Professional Therapist the main thing I need is patients through the door – loads of them every day. Since I started in private practice nearly 20 years ago no body but myself and my own efforts has got them through the door – in fact as a massage therapist I struggled against the odds of dis-interest by many sources, it was only following the long hard road to qualifying as a Chartered Physiotherapist that local attitudes to me started to dramatically change. National accountability of therapists should go hand in hand with National promotion. It is of no use to therapists to be policed continually (most of us are no doubt conciencious, safe and effective) without spending equal effort promoting Massage therapy as a normal essential part of healthcare – which is the case in Australia. The Government in Australia really promotes Massage therapy, it is thriving. Therapists can work for Healthcare Insurance companies and there is Commonwealth and state funding to train (see my article in misc).
    It is long overdue, that the main UK Massage Industry regulatory bodies get together and get to grips with the needs of therapists, what have they been doing in these endless meetings all these years, besides thinking of accountability strategies? We are already very accountable, so in balance we need extensive promotion to the likes of the NHS, Private hospitals, Healthcare insurance companies, public awareness of the benefits and promotion ‘normalisation’ of massage as mainstream healthcare via all National media sources. Massage is not ‘alternative’ it is an essential part of rehabilitation, and the UK Remedial Massage Industry can learn a lot from the Australian model which seems straightforward, very uncomplicated and more than thriving.

    Mark Fairclough

  • Profile picture of Josephine E Lade Josephine E Lade said 4 years, 10 months ago:

    I’ve been a member of CNHC since it started, but when the renewal invitation came through this year I evaluated it in a more business like way, instead of being a sheep, and so far have decided not to renew. I may change my mind again, but at the moment I can’t see what I’m getting for my fifty-odd pounds. As Mark stated very eloquently, the LCSP set excellent standards of regulation and compliance, and through their insurance I tick all the necessary boxes. I hoped the CNHC would have done more on a National public front to raise it’s own profile – and within other health professions too, but as has been commented on already, none of my patients or colleagues in or outside of the NHS have heard of CNHC. Yes I agree the focus is far too much on public protection with these new bodies – maybe that’s the game they have to play these days – liability and litigation are the buzz words that make everyone sit up after all. But as Mark says, from the practitioners point of view, support and a wider audience is what we need if we’re bothered about growing our businesses individually and increasing awareness of our profession to a wider audience on a national scale – which we cannot do as individuals – hence the need for a national voice. The LCSP cannot be expected to spend the vast sums of money required to do that kind of marketing – yes it has to come from a larger organisation. The Australians seem to have it right. So for now I’ll be sticking with the LCSP, keeping my head down and getting on with running a good business in this difficult financial climate, ensuring the well-being of my patients, and hoping that some day we may turn towards a more Ozzy was of looking at things! Till then my fifty-odd pounds will be better invested in CPD than CNHC!

  • Profile picture of Stephen G Foster Stephen G Foster said 4 years, 10 months ago:

    You make a valid point Jo, and one that I am seeing on a daily basis with LCSP members not renewing with CNHC for these very reasons. At a recent meeting in London with CHNC they let slip that their membership numbers have not really increased in the last two years, they still have abt 5000 registrants despite accepting several new therapies into the CNHC,which can only mean as quick as they register new members others are simply not renewing as they do not see any benefit of the membership.

  • Profile picture of Josephine E Lade Josephine E Lade said 4 years, 10 months ago:

    Interesting… so the obvious question is… what are they doing about it!?!? Sadly it rather feels as if they’re going to fade away having not really achieved much for the practitioners – I know it’s not as simple as that, but going back to Marks comments which I agree wholeheartedly with about the industry needing nationwide recognition and backing – far more time and energy seems to have gone into public protection and interests than industry promotion. As practitioners we all understand the importance of promoting what we do in the correct way to ensure we build and develop a sound business – no public awareness = no patients = no business. If the CNHC aren’t seen to be raising awareness at a national level then practitioners are quite right to question what they’re getting for their money.

  • Profile picture of Stephen G Foster Stephen G Foster said 4 years, 10 months ago:

    Practitioners are indeed questioning this, many report such things as mentioning CNHC to Doctors and Practice Managers to be met with ‘Who?’. CNHC started with big ideas, indeed they said at the launch they would have ‘Ten thousand registrants in the first year’ and promised so much more besides and really have not dlivered very much, hence the voting with feet of members.
    The feeling I have is that now CNHC are pushing for this PSA accreditation and telling everybody that that is the way forward to recognition.

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