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Posted by Angela Rawlins, Sep 2 2010 9:24AM

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NCAT Guidelines

I have been sent the following information which could be useful for our members:

'Just in case this is useful to you or any therapists you know who want to have their say on the issue of forcing regulation on those involved in working in hospices – especially volunteers – which, as we know, most of them are.'

The correspondence below is the letter the GRCCT sent to the woman who is co-ordinating the Cancer Guilde lines, whose name is Paula Lloyd.

Anglia Cancer Network

Arden Cancer Network

Central South Coast Cancer Network

Derby and Burton Cancer Network

Dorset Cancer Network

East Midlands Cancer Network

Essex Cancer Network

Greater Manchester and Cheshire Cancer Network

Greater Midlands Cancer Network

Humber & Yorkshire Coast Cancer Network

Kent and Medway Cancer Network

Lancashire & South Cumbria Cancer Network

Leicestershire, Northamptonshire & Rutland Cancer Network

Merseyside & Cheshire Cancer Network

Mount Vernon Cancer Network

North East London Cancer Network

North of England Cancer Network

North London Cancer Network

North Trent Cancer Network

Pan Birmingham Cancer Network

Peninsula Cancer Network

South East London Cancer Network

South West London Cancer Network

Sussex Cancer Network

Thames Valley Cancer Network

Three Counties Cancer Network

West London Cancer Network

Paula Lloyd

Dear Paula,

I write on a matter of some urgency having received a number of complaints and expressions of concern from various stakeholders in the field of complementary medicine. The focus of these complaints is a range of guidelines for the use of complementary therapies in Cancer care. It is our understanding that these documents are based on information supplied by the National Cancer Patient Information Pathways.

The complaints are in a range of areas including:

The Consultation


Patient Guidance

Factual Inaccuracies

1. Consultation
1. As the largest regulatory body in the field is it not appropriate that guidelines for the use of Complementary Therapies in Cancer Care be produced without the consultative involvement of the General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapies (GRCCT)
2. The number of complaints being received from leading professional organisations, profession councils and standard setting bodies would indicate that the consultation process has been exclusive in both circulation and provision.

2. Regulation
1. The regulation of practitioners of complementary medicine in the UK is voluntary. There is no statutory requirement for a practitioner to be registered
2. There are three voluntary registers with differing levels of support by practitioners:
1. The General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapies (GRCCT) which is supported by approximately 10,000 practitioners
2. The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) which is supported by approximately 2,500 practitioners
3. The British Complementary Therapy Council (BCTC) which is supported by approximately 100 practitioners

3. Patient Guidance
1. In current form these guidelines will serve to limit patient choice at a time when empowerment and information are imperative.
2. The limited scope of the guidelines negatively impacts on the use by the patient of some therapies.

4. Factual accuracy
1. Some of the bodies listed as qualification awarding bodies in the notes are professional associations without awarding body status.
2. Some are commercial organisations lacking external validation of in-house awards.
3. The list of awarding bodies is quite bizarre in its content:
1. some of the organisations listed are no longer in existence
2. major professional organisations including the largest organisations in specific fields (and in one case, the world) have been omitted.
3. main stream therapies such as Aromatherapy, Hypnotherapy, Reflexology and Reiki, are omitted or list only a small selection of the profession associations
4. The document refers to therapies being ineligible for entry to the CNHC register. In many cases these therapies have elected, for a variety of reasons not to be involved in the CNHC.
5. The Profession Councils which act as the focal point for the each therapy and are a primary information source for both profession and public are not listed. It is within these bodies that the expertise for each therapy resides.

The GRCCT has worked with the Government Sector Skills Council, Skills for Health, to develop National Occupational Standards (NOS) in a wide range of complementary therapies. All bodies claiming regulatory status as well as the Profession Councils regard these standards as minimum entry requirements for each therapy. Many of these councils building on the requirements of the NOS have produced Core Curricula to facilitate appropriate training.

Whilst being appreciative that some guidelines may have already been uploaded I am sure you would agree that we need to move swiftly to ensure that those in place and those imminently to be so, are rendered fit for purpose.

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