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 that be administrative assistance, delivering complementary therapies or auxiliary, support we stand ready.
“We are urging the government to utilise our skills in the fight against this pandemiic.”
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 practice under the ‘medical care’ exemption clause and whether they are recognised as allied healthcare professionals for this purpose, she said.
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