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  1. #11
    The BAcC have spent many years pursuing some form of regulation above and beyond VSR. Why? Perhaps because there is a legitimacy attached to it that will elevate the status of the acupuncture profession to the extent that it will become easier for BAcC members to attract new patients (primarily through the NHS) and make more money (there are other reasons but this reason has to be of most importance). As time has gone by the rise in number of acupuncture practitioners who do not practise a traditional form of acupuncture has meant that even where the traditional acupuncture (profession) did get regulated (SSR, SR) the preferred option of cheaper acupuncture provision by non-traditional acupuncture practitioners (doctors, physiotherapists, nurses etc) would make it a less attractive option for BAcC members. If the financial benefits of regulation are not so great then why continue to pursue regulation beyond VSR (especially if doing so increases costs to BAcC members whilst offering little regarding more patients and extra income)?
    IMO there has and always will be only two ways to promote traditional acupuncture to the benefit of both practitioner and patient. The first is through regulation. Better to be seen as equal with other therapies/therapists (professionally) then to be perceived as something alternative and perhaps inferior. The second is through the practise of acupuncture itself. Of these two the latter is more important than the former. If that is true then why have the BAcC invested so much time, money and effort in regulation (SR)? Perhaps because the attainment of SR was always perceived as the easier option, the grand prize, the jackpot. With the benefit of hindsight it has to be accepted that attaining SR is not all it’s cracked up to be. Having failed to attain SR has left the BAcC in the same position it was faced with years ago (hence the Acupuncture Awareness Week) prior to the pursuit of regulation (SSR originally). The position of how to raise the profile of the traditional acupuncture profession in the UK (and in doing so help its members make more money).
    Looking at the list of members benefits (BAcC membership) I see very little that will help members attract more patients and make more money. I see a lot of sweeteners which may help some to swallow the annual membership fee more easily but that’s about it.

  2. #12
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    Keep up chaps!

    If you start engaging with the BAcC on any level you will see that they are actually doing a great job under particularly difficult circumstances. It may be that that none of you have appreciable experience in the field of politics. As such you wont realise how convoluted and drawn out these processes are, even without minor political distractions like the worst global recession in almost 100 years! I'd highly recommend you engage with the BAcC via eNews, website (we now even have video logs to keep us up to date), The Acupuncturist newsletter, the annual conference, and AGMs so that you can keep your positions up to date. The BAcC are providing a high quality and cost-effective service.
    I'm an ex-accountant (don't, its incurable!) so I love stats and I'm as tight as a duck's !#*$%. Regarding PR, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The coverage we get nowadays is especially good considering the restricted budgets. Sure, we could run television campaigns but how many of us want to double our annual subscriptions (of course, that would just get us up to the amounts that chiropractors and osteos pay).
    I could go on about what bang we get for our buck but that would only rob you of the opportunity to follow it up yourselves. All in all, a great value service that has avoided the political pitfalls that have beset several of our other industry counterparts over the last few years (ouch!).
    P.S. BTW, please don't buy the cheapest car insurance too, without reading the small-print...always read the small-print

    Yours in many years of complete satisfaction,
    Sean

  3. #13
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    I don't think television campaigns would benefit anyone until statutory regulation is in place. The lack of protection of title and practice means that pretty much anyone can be an acupuncturist. So there is no logic in the BAC up-ing our contributions to do TV ads when people will go to physios or chiros for their acupuncture. The BAC subscriptions are already quite high. I was glad to see Nick asking members what was valuable to them when he first started the job. I would like to see cut backs to parts of the BAC. It can be tightened up and be made more efficient. One of the main reasons i am still a member is the high number of insurance companies that accept BAC members.

    I'm usually against anything written by Prof Ernst, but his latest piece on acupuncture safety might be of benefit to us, see http://www.chinesemedicinetimes.com/..._safety_agency. He and his co-writers list the adverse effects of acupuncture within the NHS and I'm safe in presuming were performed by physiotherapists. The BAC can use this to reopen the case for the statutory regulation of acupuncture in the UK with the UK government. I'm really not sure if the BAC actually wants acupuncture to be statutory regulated. Perhaps Nick can clarify that point here.

  4. #14
    i have read all of the above with great interest but also some disappointment, clearly the Bac seemed to be setting themselves up as the front (last word) on how this should all come about. They say they want to engage with Chinese Associations but they then never mention them again.. the ATCM & Ac UK. are the main body that they should be engaging as much as possible, they also offer all of the same membership support as the BAC, so it should be up the the individual to choose who to register with.

    There are many different level courses on acupuncture, but we should all be encouraging degree level as the most acceptable, the length and structure/supervision of a degree is the price the best acupuncturists strive for, and anyone doing a few weekends as workshops to add to physiotherapy should not be calling themselves acupuncturists. Whilst this all this meddling is going on many practitioners are meeting patients who have had acupuncture from NHS and have been disappointed and are often frightened to try it from a fully trained acupuncturist who understand the body as a whole.

  5. #15
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    I'm not proposing we actually do run TV campaigns but if we did, we could think outside the box and make the purpose of the adverts to actively differentiate between professional acupuncturists and those who use dry needling as an adjunct to their existing training. Now that would be useful and certainly wouldn't allow physios to ride on the back of our ads. Statutory Regulation would NOT be a prerequisite in this case.

  6. #16
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    I know a physio who has only completed a short course in dry needling but uses it to great effect as part of his overall battery of techniques to help his patients. His approach is extremely holistic. What are your thoughts in this case?

  7. #17
    Dear all, As I stated above, the BAcC offers considerable member benefits. Re-imbursement from private health insurers is part of this - our latest E news mentions a new insurance company that re-imburses for our members.

    We are actively engaging with the ATCM. e.g.
    -ATCM are co-hosting the ARRC symposium with us next year - 2nd March 2013
    - I am speaking at their AGM in early October
    - we are discussing with ATCM about joint work on accreditation
    Discussion on other issues also continues...

    Our view is that statutory regulation should be in place. I agree that the lack of protection of title is an issue. Our letter to the new Secretary of State (on the members page of the BAcC site) states this.

    The BAcC is always looking for savings and to be more efficient. We have not re-recruited to a marketing/PA replacement to save staff costs, and have worked with BAAB and EJOM to ensure back office savings are made as much as possible. I continually ask members what is valuable to them and would be happy to hear more feedback from members - it would be more appropriate if this occured via the BAcC members website than here.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanbarkes View Post
    Statutory Regulation would NOT be a prerequisite in this case.
    Statutory regulation would protect our title "Acupuncturist" and bring up the level of education needed to practice acupuncture. This is a win-win situation for us and would not only protect the public from exposure to physios practising acupuncture in the NHS, but also protect our profession, open up more access to insurance companies and the public alike.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanbarkes View Post
    I know a physio who has only completed a short course in dry needling but uses it to great effect as part of his overall battery of techniques to help his patients. His approach is extremely holistic. What are your thoughts in this case?
    I know an acupuncturist who spotted a serious illness a GP didn't. That doesn't make the acupuncturist a GP and a physio getting good results with dry needling doesn't make them an acupuncturist or competent at acupuncture. Sticking a needle where it's painful isn't rocket science and isn't acupuncture. This type of technique is only limited to pain. Problem is i know of many physios treating everything else as well with acupuncture, for example insomnia, anxiety, stress, menstrual problems, etc.

    I challenged the AACP a few years ago about their members treating everything with acupuncture. Their reply was: "Our accredited members are trained to use acupuncture in an evidence based way to treat pain. Their practice is mainly but not uniquely limited to musculo-skeletal conditions. Following accreditation members are able to extend their scope of acupuncture practice by attending further training courses, such as "women's health". We have approximately 200 members who have completed a minimum of 200 additional hours of training to gain a post graduate diploma in acupuncture." Didn't stop that physio from treating outside their remit and many of them do.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by attilio View Post
    Statutory regulation would protect our title "Acupuncturist" and bring up the level of education needed to practice acupuncture. This is a win-win situation for us and would not only protect the public from exposure to physios practising acupuncture in the NHS, but also protect our profession, open up more access to insurance companies and the public alike.
    Couldnt agree more regarding protection of title. Unfortunately, a win-win for us is not likely to be easy in a political environment. To move forward, we need a win-win for both sides. That is the reason for the delicate manoevering the BAcC perform in our behalf and the extended timescales. These things are rarely so simple.
    BTW, I don't think the public need protecting from physios doing dry needling. They need protection from in adequately trained healthcare practitioners with poor skills. That includes people in our profession too.

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