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Posted by Gillian Kenyon, Sep 15 2010 1:59PM

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Will GP's refer to therapists ?

Has anyone else got any concernes regarding the news that GP's are planned to become the budget holders for NHS services by 2012 ?.

When PCT's are disbanded, the government is proposing that to save money, GP's will become the NHS budget holders. I understand that means that GP's will decide what services are or are not going to be available via NHS under NHS funding in their area.

GP's are NOT referring to Therapists now - I understand from discussing it with a number of them that they aren't unless you are medically trained BECAUSE their Hippocratic oath (and consequently insurance) states that they can only refer to other people who are also medically trained.

Obviously the regulatory bodies must already be aware of this. I haven't heard anything regarding how it will affect non-medically trained therapists though. Has anyone else ?.

Angelina Kelly
Sep 15 2010 2:23PM

Basically it means we're out of a job
Angelina Kelly
Sep 15 2010 2:38PM
A thought has occurred to me!

All the more credible qualifying instutions e.g., Embody, Bach Foundation, CThA, Irish Reflexologists Institute etc. having been placing a very high importance on their members being as professional as possible and have all made their curriculums be in accordance with the requirements of the medical profession to accept us as professionals. The medical profession has been aware of this for the past number of years because they have insisted upon it.

Is it now the case, I wonder, that the medical profession sees that we are genuinely attempting to professionalise ourselves and they see that more and more people are going into training and more and more people are turning to us, that they feel they are loosing ground and this is their way of stopping us actually being professionals in the true sense of the word. Is it that they have always seen us a "quacks" and therefore are imperical and they are going to every length to keep us as such so that their place in medicine is secure?

Just a thought!!!!
Neville Dalton
Sep 15 2010 2:44PM
This sounds interesting, but I'm not quite clear on your point. You appear to be concerned that when GPs control the purse strings, they will not refer patients to therapists such as ourselves.

But you say they are not doing this anyway. So what's the difference?

Or is it that PCTs and similar bodies who currently control these finances ARE referring to us?

I'm not criticising the sentiment - I believe GPs and other doctors should refer to therapists where appropriate, and I honestly believe that many would like to (if they don't already).

I'm just not clear what difference you believe the changes to responsibilities will have.
Gillian Kenyon
Sep 15 2010 3:35PM
At present, there is a Patienet's Charter which the PCT's try to uphold. If patients lobby for Complementary Therapies to be available through their local PCT, then some hospitals have made this available.

Over the past decade and more, by working at numerous medical conferences, I have come to know many senior consultants who work within NHS hospitals, and found that they ARE receptive to use of Complementary Therapies.

On the other hand, very few GP's will have anything to do with us simply because we are NOT medically trained.

GP's are a private business with insurance and a service contract that happens to be with the NHS. Their Hippocratic Oath states that they will not refer to people who are NOT medically trained - their insurance will not cover them if they do.

If all NHS funding becomes controlled by GP's, there will thus be even more against Therapists EVER getting to work with patients under referral of GP's and we may even loose those few NHS establishments that do offer it.
Gillian Kenyon
Sep 15 2010 3:45PM
Angelina

just a quick note - Therapy curriculums have NOT been set in accordance with the requirements of the medical profession. I don't know where you were given that impression.

To clarify for you the usual process of curriculum design:
- Most curriculums are designed to meet the format of the Curriculum and Qualifications Authority.
- Design of the content of a curriculum is entirely in the hands of the establishment creating it.
- Accreditation of a curriculum states only that the Professional Body/Affinity Group would support the curriculum as being safe and matching the requirements laid out in the National Occupational standards (where such exist - and they don't for Bach Flower and many other therapies).

This means that the insurers who cover Therapists have a guide to what certifications/curriculae have been followed and that a group (Affinity Group/Professional Body) has agreed that it meets safe standards in relation to practice of the therapy on the public for payment - ie Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Neville Dalton
Sep 15 2010 3:55PM
Thank you.
Angelina Kelly
Sep 15 2010 4:29PM
Gillian,

The Irish Reflexologists Institute, in consultation with the Royal College of Physicians, adjusted their curriculum in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the College. The College, in turn, introduced a module on Reflexology into their curriculum so that the medical students would be fully aware of what Reflexology is and does. In this way the courses acreddited by the IRI were deemed to be acceptable to the medics and therefore its members were deemed to be "credible".
Gillian Kenyon
Sep 15 2010 5:03PM
Hi Angelina

That is great news for Irish Reflexologists - unfortunately it is not the case for other institutes or UK Reflexologists nor does it appear to extend beyond Reflexology.

We could really do with the Professional Bodies/Affinity groups who 'Accredit' courses to ensure that ALL courses they accredit follow such a procedure of co-operation with the medical profession and that a subsequent official statement of 'medically accepted credability' is made in the UK & Irish press.

I think we should all try to lobby our Professional Bodies/Affinity groups to ensure this is done and that 'accreditation' isn't just a one way fee generating activity to bring income into their Professional Body/Affinity group coffers.

The money could then be used to pay for the press Releases and advertising of the statement of 'medically accepted credibility' by the Professional Body/Affinity group.

Thanks for that - maybe others would agree - could we lobby for this ?.
Angelina Kelly
Sep 15 2010 5:13PM

Hard work. Exhausting and time consuming. Will be met with great resistance but I think it would be a good idea nonetheless.

Gillian Kenyon
Sep 15 2010 5:36PM
I agree, it does take a huge amount of time and effort.

Isn't that the kind of thing we are expecting Professional Bodies/Affinity groups to do on our joint behalf when we pay our membership fees. Aren't they supposedly representing the interests of Therapists, why else would we all be paying fees to them. We don't need them for access to cheap Professional Indemnity Insurance any more, we can get that without being a member of any Professional Body/Affinity group these days.

I am sure that it is something we could all lobby them to do this on our behalf if we speak loud enough and with one voice.
Angelina Kelly
Sep 16 2010 9:15AM
Gillian,

I totally agree.

I was thinking that myself only an hour ago and am forming the bones of a letter to the "bodies" along those very lines.

The "problem" is not many therapists are business people, they are not inclined to "fight for their rights" and mobilising them into a lobby group will be extremely difficult. Get them behind a product and they are vociferous, but make them fight on their own behalf? I don't think so!!!!! Besides who's going to lead such a group? So far you and I seem to be the only ones with the clarity to see the massive eploitation of therapists that is happening. I thought it was only here in Ireland but I now see that it's just as rampant in England (I'm heartened by this) but deeply saddened.

Such a lobby would shake up the world of medicine/therapy and will cause a lot of consternation I don't think our industry is ready to speak as one voice just yet, and if we are not united strongly from the start, the medical profession will annihiliate us totally, but it is possible that if the ball were to start rolling it may create it's own momentum.

It is, of course, in all our interests to do so and I can only hope that someday our colleagues will see it too.

Gillian Kenyon
Sep 16 2010 10:56AM
Hi Angelina

If you would like to keep in touch about these sorts of things, I can always be contacted directly at Gill@TheHClub.org.uk or via one of the e-mails listed on either our Health & Wellbeing Infobase and Practitioners location listing site on www.TheHClub.co.uk or our First Aid Training and business web-site on www.TheHClub.org.uk
Angelina Kelly
Sep 16 2010 12:13PM
Hi Gillian,

Thanks for that, I will contact you, however I would love to see others viewpoint on this topic.

Angelina
Angela Rawlins
Sep 16 2010 1:01PM
Well - I do agree.........

How many of you actually support your local co-ordinator??? The local group co-ordinators are there for every member to express their views.

'We' are there to pass on the views of the members to the CThA.

I unfortunately have to say that very very few members attend my meetings and I do not think this is unusual mores the pity.

Find your local group and attend the meetings regularly. You meet other therapists for support and networking. I try to organise interesting speakers - takes me a lot of hard work, but worth the effort when I get good attendances:))

Enlist your colleagues also and anyone interested in Complementary therapy.

Anyone going to the Expo??
Christine Beadle
Sep 23 2010 9:05PM
I'm joining the debate! In my opinion the mainstream medical profession, including charitable organisations who employ medical professionals, do accept (welcome) complementary therapists - on a voluntary basis. So it is not the 'non-medical' treatments (or non qualified medical status) that prevents I think it really does come down to money & the benefits to the economy of using pharmaceuticals the way we do. So how does referrals to Councellers work then....this seems to be accepted but counsellors do not have to be medically trained to counsel? I think there is a bigger picture here - the battle would be indirectly against the pharmaceutical industry and all that stands for - if this was challenged well who would suffer? What do you think?
Gillian Kenyon
Sep 24 2010 12:09PM
I think what we are seeing here is a termonology debate and an understanding issue and that is just the point.

Referrals to Counsellors are not for 'medical treatment' reasons - they are largely for other issues, ie psychological, sociological, emotional support.

I do not know why Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists can be referred to but I do know that Massage Therapists aren't - even when it is remedial or sports injuries work - often what GP's imagine physiotherapists are doing. I suspect it is because the length of training and level of training is considered sufficient to give these types of practitioners 'medical understanding'. Is that why we are suddenly seeing all these Complementary therapy Degrees being offered. Will all therapists require a degree if they are to be seen as credible ?.

On the other hand, perhaps it is that Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists treatments are not seen as 'Medical Treatment' as they do not involve the use of drugs ?. But that then begs the quetsion as to why the same logic does not apply to Remedial or Sports Massage then.

Perhaps the real crux of the matter is somantics. What is 'medical' and what is not.

I recently read an interesting perspective on http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=13266

Perhaps this says it all ?.

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