Open letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

Chiropractic clinics being excluded from Retail Discount

Dear Mr Jenrick,

Expanded Retail Discount 2020/2021: Coronavirus Response

It is with great concern that I wish to discuss the guidance produced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in relation to the Business Rates Discount.

We note from paragraph 16 that medical services, including chiropractors, have been excluded.

I am proud that the chiropractic profession has actively supported and endorsed the Government’s approach to this pandemic, with the British Chiropractic Association advising members on Tuesday 24th March to cease ‘face to face’ appointments, as this was incompatible with strong Government advice on staying at home, minimising travel to specific places only and social distancing. This action will devastate the income of chiropractic practices, placing thousands of households at risk of debt and the negative consequences of such a predicament, when other professionals have been given Government relief.

The BCA represents the majority of chiropractors in the UK and take our representative role very seriously. We felt that by advising members to practice via remote links and encouraging them to volunteer their significant healthcare competency to both the NHS Rapid Response and the NHS Volunteer Responder teams, we are acting as with the social responsibility the government is calling for.

Back pain is consistently listed as the number one cause of global disability and with 10.8 million days lost as a consequence of musculoskeletal conditions, the contribution our profession makes to the workforce is significant. I am, therefore, very concerned that chiropractors have been excluded from the Business Rate Discount announced as part of the Coronavirus response.

Private practice chiropractic makes up almost the entirety of the profession with approximately 3,200 chiropractors providing high quality, regulated healthcare to the UK population and this decision has causes grave concern for the future of the UK’s MSK health, if our profession is forced to suffer from the restriction to business rates discounts. We therefore ask the Department urgently to reconsider the exclusion of chiropractic practices from this Business Rates Retail Discount.

Yours sincerely,
Catherine Quinn
President, British Chiropractic Association

cc: Jo Churchill MP, DHSC, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, HMT, Rt Hon Alock Sharma MP Thursday 26th March 2020

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