Regulation will quality assure complementary medicine, says Minister

Better regulation of complementary therapists like acupuncturists and herbalists will reassure patients that they are properly qualified, Health Minister John Hutton said today.

There are around 4,000 practising acupuncturists and herbalists in the UK - but they do not have to meet professional standards of training.

"These proposals to regulate the industry will reassure patients and the public that herbal medicine and acupuncture practitioners are not only suitably qualified, but also competent and up-to-date with developments in practice," said Mr Hutton.

Practitioners who meet the required standard would be included on a register and those who are not fit to practise could be removed.

The Department of Health also published proposals today to extend regulation to a wider range of healthcare staff, like therapy assistants, assistant practitioners and healthcare assistants.

New standards would increase patient safety and give professional staff the confidence to delegate more skilled work. The move is supported by Unison, which has nearly 100,000 healthcare assistants.

The consultations on both proposals will run for around three months.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 November 2011
New Training Standards For Healthcare Workers
Measures to standardise the training of healthcare assistants have been unveiled by the Health Secretaryon Wednesday. Speaking at the NHS Employers conference in Liverpool, Andrew Lansley set out plans to develop a code of conduct and minimum training standards for healthcare support workers and adult social care workers in England.
02 February 2010
Cabinet 'Misled' On Iraq, Says Short
A former 'rebel' cabinet minister has said her colleagues were "misled" into believing the Iraq invasion was legal. Appearing before an inquiry into the war today, Clare Short claimed Attorney General Lord Goldsmith's legal assessment had been "leaned on".
18 September 2014
Unison NHS Members Vote For Strike Action
NHS workers in England will strike in a dispute over pay. Unison balloted its members, which includes nurses, healthcare assistants and porters, over possible strike action, with two-thirds reportedly voting in favour of industrial action.
04 May 2004
Birmingham trust nominated to run £1.8m genetics centre
Birmingham Women's Healthcare Trust have won a bid to run the new Genetics Education and Development Centre. The Centre, which will educate NHS staff about genetics and the role it plays in modern healthcare, is part of the Government's wider £50 million strategy to make sure that patients benefit from the latest developments in genetic knowledge.
19 July 2013
Heatwave Warning Increased For North-West
Heatwave warnings have been increased in the north-west and decreased in the south-east. The Met Office has raised the waring to level three in north-west England, while warning in the south-east and London have been reduced to level 2. The remain at level 3 for the South West and the West Midlands.