Patient and public information: COVID-19
BCA position on COVID-19
We know that patients and the public want to know more about how chiropractors are responding to patient needs during COVID-19.
BCA advice on face-to-face consultations
22nd July 2021
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.
Lifting of restrictions across the UK – July 2021
Chiropractors are able to remain open and practise in accordance with Government guidelines.
In the light of changes to COVID 19 lockdown, the BCA continues to advise its members to maintain their risk assessed safety measures in line with the guidance laid out by the UK regulator for chiropractic, The General Chiropractic Council (GCC).
The BCA continues to provide and maintain a comprehensive set of advice and guidance for its members to help them work safely at this time. This includes advice to wear PPE and face coverings in line with NHS guidance and current safety practices across all UK nations. Chiropractors may require their patients to wear face coverings unless they are exempt.
FAQs for patients and public
Chiropractors are able to remain open and practise in accordance with Government guidelines. This is echoed by the regulator – the General Chiropractic Council’s latest statement to registrants can be found here
BCA members are advised to undertake a thorough risk assessment and to have completed the following before considering face-to-face consultations:
Have I read and understood the following documents?
- The UK Government’s Recovery Strategy
- The UK Government’s Working Safely during Coronavirus
- NHS/PHE Guidance on Social Distancing
- NHS PPE Guidelines
Health and Safety
Have I reviewed the Health & Safety regulations regarding maintaining a safe workplace for staff and visitors?
Have I reviewed the GCC Code to ensure that I understand my duties regarding patient safety?
- Do I have a sustainable, ethical source of PPE to maintain the scale of consultations which I envisage?
- Have I carried out adequate training on PPE with my staff?
- Do I understand the new Government advice on the use of face coverings?
Have I carried out a Risk Assessment using the BCA’s Risk Assessment Framework and Template making adjustments to my own clinical setting?
Have I drafted detailed instructions and briefed my staff on Return to Work Protocols as I intend to implement them within my practice?
- Do I understand the new Government advice on dealing with Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people and Clinically Vulnerable people?
- Do I have a comprehensive plan for communicating with my patients regarding risks and procedures within the clinic?
The Government is still advising that in closed spaces you should wear a face covering. NHS guidance (which we have advised our members to follow) is that they should continue to wear PPE and require patients to wear face coverings.
This comparison table from the Office for National Statistics helps you understand which professions are at greatest risk and may help you decide who to visit.
In the UK, Chiropractors are regulated by law and are required to adhere to a strict Code of Practice, similar to the regulations followed, for example, by dentists. The General Chiropractic Council (GCC), has regulated chiropractors since 1997.
The GCC website has information for the public regarding COVID-19 which is updated when changes take place.
The BCA has released a statement regarding false claims of the effect of chiropractic treatment on COVID-19, alongside all of the chiropractic professional associations in the UK and the Royal College of Chiropractors.
Yes! We have received lots of enquiries from those looking to start their studies in chiropractic despite COVID-19. The BCA has been working with the four UK chiropractic education providers to support the continuation of these degree courses. Many universities have made online provision and you should contact the universities directly to find out more about how to apply and what studying.
AECC University College
Welsh Institute of Chiropractic
The University of South Wales
Tel: 0800 716 925 FREE
web incl contact: www.southwales.ac.uk/chiro
London South Bank University
103 Borough Road
Tel: 0800 923 8888
McTimoney College of Chiropractic
1 Kimber Road
Tel: 01235 523 336
web incl contact: http://www.mctimoney-college.ac.uk
Tel: 01642 218121
web incl contact: https://www.tees.ac.uk/undergraduate_courses/Nursing_Midwifery_&_Health_Professions/MSci_(Hons)_Chiropractic.cfm
We have put together some helpful information for students, prospective students and recent graduates regarding studying during COVID-19
The decision on which PPE to wear includes elements of clinical judgement. Many chiropractors are wearing masks, gloves, aprons and some will also wear visors; so do not be surprised if your chiropractor is wearing PPE.
Some chiropractors have had to adjust their costs to take in to account the changes in the way they practise due to COVID-19. Increased cleaning, the need to wear PPE and additional staff may all be reasons why this has changed. If you would like more information, please speak with your chiropractor who will be happy to explain it to you.
Due to the necessary cleaning and hygiene requirements that chiropractors now follow, it may be the case that your chiropractor is unable to offer the same number of treatment slots as previously but is experiencing similar or increased demand.
Yes, you can, subject to risk assessment by your chiropractor. Chiropractors perform risk assessments before treating patients, to make the necessary considerations should a shielding patient approach them regarding an appointment. Please ensure you explain your circumstances to your practitioner at that time.
Shielding advice is changing across the UK countries and patients are advised to check the status of this prior to planning an appointment.
In the UK countries where individuals are permitted inside other people’s homes to work, chiropractors who wish to, can do consultations in your home. Any visit to a home-setting requires a thorough risk assessment which may take into account other people who live in there and additional risk factors.
The use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is still necessary in a home-setting.
The Government has produced advice on home visits, however, this envisages that the specified social distance is followed for visitors in the home. Chiropractic treatment takes place in close contact. If you are clinically vulnerable or extremely clinically vulnerable (shielding), extra care should be taken and a discussion with your chiropractor is recommended.
You can find some of our recent work below, as well as national advice, information and resources.
BCA and colleagues call for routine testing of MSK professionals
27th August 2020: The letter calls for routine testing for MSK professionals in light of the heightened levels of need for MSK care post lockdown and is signed by the BCA, the Chartered Institute of Physiotherapists, the Institute of Osteopathy, the British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Physio First as a group jointly represented by ARMA. Read the letter
BCA joins forces with 15,000 healthcare professions to seek clarity from Public Health England on new Infection Prevention & Control guidance
25th August 2020: The BCA has written to PHE to seek clarity for members. Read the letter
BCA Updates advice to members in Scotland
13th July 2020: BCA members in Scotland should move to ‘Telehealth considered. Risk assessed face-to-face consultations for all cases including routine/maintenance cases’ with effect from today. The Scottish Government has introduced a number of Phase 3 measures with effect from 13 July, which correspond with this trigger point for BCA advice.
BCA Updates advice to members in Northern Ireland
23rd June 2020: BCA members in Northern Ireland should prepare to move to ‘Telehealth considered. Risk assessed face-to-face consultations for routine/maintenance cases’ with effect from Monday 29 June. The Northern Ireland Executive has introduced a number of Step 3 measures in recent days and it is judged appropriate to make this change with effect from 29 June, as Step 4 measures have been clearly announced to start on 6 July. This change creates a trigger point for BCA advice.
BCA Updates advice to members in Wales
19th June 2020: BCA members in Wales should prepare to move to ‘Telehealth considered. Risk assessed face-to-face consultations for all cases including routine/maintenance cases’ with effect from 22nd June. The Welsh Government has introduced a number of Amber measures with effect from 22 June, which correspond with this trigger point for BCA advice.
BCA Updates advice to members in Scotland
18th June 2020: BCA members in Scotland should prepare to move to ‘Telehealth considered. Risk assessed face-to-face consultations for urgent cases only’ with effect from Monday 22 June. The Scottish Government has introduced a number of Phase 2 measures with effect from 22 June, which correspond with this trigger point for BCA advice.
BCA updates advice to members on face-to-face consultations (members in England)
10th June 2020: BCA members in England should prepare to offer ‘Telehealth considered. Risk assessed face-to-face consultations for all cases including routine/maintenance cases’ with effect from 15 June. The UK Government has introduced a number of Step 2 measures with effect from 15 June, which correspond with this trigger point for BCA advice.
BCA updates advice to members on face-to-face consultations (members in Northern Ireland)
5th June 2020: Following an update from the Northern Ireland Executive yesterday, members in Northern Ireland can move to ‘Telehealth considered. Risk assessed face-to-face consultations for urgent cases only’ from Monday 8th June.
BCA updates advice to members on face-to-face consultations (members in Wales)
2nd June 2020: This change has been brought about by the decision of the Welsh Government to move to Red in its Traffic Light system for workplaces.
BCA updates advice to members on face-to-face consultations (England only)
12th May 2020: As a result of the release of the Government’s Recovery Strategy on 11 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. Read our full statement
Rate relief for professions disproportionally affected by lockdown
11th May 2020: The BCA joined 15 groups representing 12 professionals practising through small businesses to write to the Chancellor to request rate relief for professions disproportionally affected by lockdown. Read the full letter
Open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from membership bodies representing 300,000 people
27th April 2020: the BCA has joined together with a group of membership bodies, representing around 300,000 members to call for financial support for those forgotten and overlooked for Government support.
Open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from the ARMA network
17th April 2020: The BCA is a member of ARMA – Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance. Members of the ARMA network joined together to urge the government to extend its support for charities to patient organisations.
Open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from nine health professions
8th April 2020: The BCA has joined with 80,000 health professionals to write to the Chancellor to raise concerns about the lack of support for businesses and the self-employed impacted by COVID-19
Open letters to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chair of the GCC
31st March 2020: We continue to listen and represent the concerns of our members regarding a range of issues. Today we have written the following letters, seeking answers to BCA member queries.
Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer – concerns over self-employment financial help including the £50,000 cap, help for newly self-employed people and exclusion of company directors, as well as clarity on the criteria for financial help.
Mary Chapman, Chair of the General Chiropractic Council – outlining concerns regarding GCC fees due in 2020
Open letters regarding chiropractic clinics being excluded from Retail Discount and reimbursement of Telehealth Consultations
26th March 2020: Chiropractors are currently excluded from Business Rate Discounts, and reimbursement for Telephone/Online appointments which they are insured for and already deliver for both NHS and self-funding patients.
Read our open letters to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Private Medical Insurance companies (sent to all major PMI providers) which ask for key changes which will assist chiropractors in being able to provide the patient-centred care we pride ourselves on.
The BCA is proud to represent the needs of UK chiropractors and we recognise the impact that the current COVID-19 pandemic is having on our members.
Ceasing all face to face appointments
Stopping all routine, non-urgent appointments
23rd March 2020: On Sunday 22nd March 2020, the Prime Minister stated in this daily press conference, “You have to stay two metres apart; you have to follow the social distancing advice. And even if you think you are personally invulnerable, there are plenty of people you can infect and whose lives will then be put at risk.”
Due to the Government’s instruction that social distancing includes individuals staying two meters apart and the closure of many public facilities, the British Chiropractic Association has recommended that members stop all routine, non-urgent consultations with their patients.
Statement on claims made about the effect of chiropractic treatment on COVID-19
21st March 2020: The BCA has released a statement alongside all of the chiropractic associations in the UK and the Royal College of Chiropractors regarding false claims that chiropractic treatment may protect patients from Coronavirus (COVID-19). Read this joint statement which is in support of the statement made by the General Chiropractic Council.
If you are attending a chiropractic consultation during COVID-19 there are some things you can do to prepare. The BCA has developed this infographic with our colleagues at BASRaT, Physio First, the Institute of Osteopathy, the College of Podiatry and the Society of Sports Therapists.
With thanks to ARMA for providing the network for these organisations to work together in the interests of patients.