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IHC asks Health Ministers to support complementary healthcare workers in returning to work quickly and safely

The Integrated Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) has written to Health Ministers across the UK to ask that complementary, traditional and natural healthcare therapists and practitioners be supported in a quick and safe return to work, highlighting the contribution they can make to health and wellbeing as the country recovers from Covid-19.

The complementary, traditional and natural healthcare industry has been fully supportive of, and compliant with, the Government’s measures to control the spread of Covid-19. As such, the majority of practitioners and therapists have been unable to practice normally during these difficult times, although many have continued to support patients remotely where possible.

These healthcare professionals contribute to the physical and mental health and wellbeing of millions of people across the UK, and want to play their part in helping the country move forward in the aftermath of Covid-19. Thousands of workers in this sector want to return to practice as soon as it is safe to do so, and are waiting for detailed Government guidance on how it intends to begin to ease the lockdown. One of the key issues facing professional associations is how their members, who usually work face to face with their clients, will be able to safely return to practice.

There are concerns that practitioners and therapists will be unable to secure face masks and hand sanitisers when they return to work, if Government advice requires their use as part of ensuring a safe working environment during Covid-19.

The IHC has asked the Government whether, in making preparations for allowing this valuable part of the healthcare workforce to return to work, it will consider how it can assist complementary, traditional and natural healthcare professionals in ensuring Covid-19 safe workplaces, and in securing the necessary supplies to work safely? If practitioners and therapists have to source their own, they risk being exploited financially through elevated prices, or being unable to acquire the necessary equipment in order to protect themselves and their patients.

IHC believes that these healthcare professionals can positively enhance the health and wellbeing of the population as it moves forward from Covid-19, and urges the Government to help them do so quickly and safely.