12th May 2020
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) represents the majority of chiropractors in the UK and has at its core the values which have been its ethos for 95 years. These include the placing of patient care and safety above all other considerations. Our chiropractors also have a duty of care to their staff and associates and to the wider community, most particularly in this period of national crisis.
As a result of the release of the Government’s Recovery Strategy on 11th May, we have decided to advise our members that (in England only) they may resume face-to-face consultations for patients who need urgent care, should they choose to do so. Any decision to offer urgent face-to-face care will be taken in consultation with the patient and is likely to be made in situations in which, for example, the patient is experiencing escalating pain and progressively worsening symptoms that do not respond to conservative management (e.g. via phone or video diagnosis) or medication as expected, or is suffering with symptoms which would otherwise result in face-to-face contact with another healthcare provider (e.g. GP, A&E, or walk in centre). Each situation, which may include other conditions, will be subject to an individual decision by the chiropractor and patient.
This is not a blanket decision to advise chiropractors to return to work for routine consultations. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Government advice remains unchanged and the BCA advice – not to carry out face-to-face consultations – will continue to apply in those countries until further notice.
BCA chiropractors have a wide range of information and advice at their disposal, including detailed risk assessments and specific instructions on the use of PPE and this will enable their patients to have a treatment experience in which they should feel comfortable and safe, should they require urgent treatment. We advise all patients to have a detailed discussion with their chiropractors on the safety arrangements in the clinic before they arrive, follow their chiropractors’ advice on processes and procedures in the clinic carefully and to feed back their assessment of their experience after the consultation, so that it can be improved if necessary.
At the BCA, we continue to be focused on the safety of our members, their patients and families during this pandemic and have only made this slight adjustment to our policy on the basis that it is the least significant change than can be made, whilst moving the country towards less stringent conditions of Lockdown. We will continue to monitor Government advice and update our information to the public accordingly.