The importance of the BCA Patient Charter for building a strong, confident, and proud chiropractic community within the modern healthcare system

Part 1

BCA President, Tim Button, signing the BCA Patient Charter to display in his clinic.

How does the BCA Patient Charter make you feel? This is a question we have been asking members since we launched the Charter in November 2022, and we’re excited to share with you some of their thoughts and perspectives on how it makes them feel empowered, confident and proud to represent the BCA and its values.

We undertook a number of interviews with members at different stages of their careers, which we will share with you throughout March. First in line is BCA President, Tim Button, who told us about what it means to him to be part of and represent the British Chiropractic Association, and how the Patient Charter prepares him to discuss how chiropractic is integral to UK healthcare.

Before you get into today’s interview, click here if you are not familiar with the BCA Patient Charter and want to find out more. BCA members can also download the Patient Charter for the digital screens in their clinics or request printed copies of it by clicking here.

Stay tuned for more in this series of interviews, which will be published in the new BCA Knowledge Hub over the coming weeks.

Can you please provide a short biography summary of yourself, focusing on your career history so far?

I started my career in Chiropractic at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth, where I trained full-time for five years. In 2003, I first established Cleve Chiropractic as one of the UK’s top clinics and now lead a highly experienced and knowledgeable team. Since then, I have seen the business thrive, giving us the ability to move to a larger space, housing ten treatment rooms, a rehab gym and even an anti-gravity treadmill room!

Over the years, alongside running my business, I have forged a strong reputation as a health specialist in the elite sporting field. I am proud to say that I have been the official Chiropractor for Bristol Rovers Football Club since 2003, along with Premiership club Bath Rugby for the best part of a decade, and now Bristol Bears.

For the London 2012 Olympic Games, I was selected to lead the chiropractic team at the sailing village in Weymouth and worked with the Great Britain Paralympic squad at their training village in Bath for eight years. I was also selected to work as a chiropractor for the London IAAF World Athletic Championships in 2017, and have also enjoyed working with the winter sports teams and have loved travelling the world with international world cup skeleton teams, including GB, Netherlands and Australia. During my time working within sporting competitions, I was able to work as part of integrated healthcare teams to provide manual therapy options to athletes. With patient choice being an important part of any healthcare setting, working alongside multiple healthcare professionals allows athletes to have access to a wide range of high-quality health services.

What does it mean to you to be a part of the British Chiropractic Association?

I love being part of the British Chiropractic Association and being part of a healthcare community who strives to provide evidence-informed and patient-centred care. All my life I have enjoyed taking up leadership roles and volunteering ideas to improve and develop concepts, whether it be in a business setting or within the healthcare community – it is what I enjoy most about my role at the BCA.

My primary focus at the BCA has always been looking at ways to enhance the experience for its members and the patients we care for. This includes giving tangible benefits that members will find useful, from relevant partnership discounts, to providing template contracts and staff handbooks. I also lead the way on GDPR to provide all the templates we have for different GDPR situations, giving a much-needed resource on top of the training we provided. It is mine and the Board’s desire to really create a sense of community within the BCA, of likeminded chiropractors who believe in the new Mission and Vision of the BCA. Being an active member of a healthcare community like the BCA ,with such high standards, is incredibly rewarding.

How does the Patient Charter helps you advance your skill set?

Ever since I started working in my own little clinic in my hometown, I made a conscious decision to uphold ethical, evidenced and patient-centred principles as a chiropractor, at all times. The BCA Patient Charter puts into words all the feelings and values that I have always strived towards, and it has helped me put myself and my business in a great place. When I meet a patient who has some misconceptions about chiropractic care, I can use the Patient Charter as a talking point, to show the credibility and patient-centred approach that BCA chiropractors take when looking after their patients. It legitimises and re-enforces the trust a patient can have, not just with me but every member of staff within the clinic and the wider Association.

What does it mean to you to represent the British Chiropractic Association?

I started working with the British Chiropractic Association purely to see what I could do to help, but over the last five to six years of working alongside the BCA Immediate Past President, Catherine Quinn, the BCA Board and the fabulous staff team, I can say that I am so proud of what we have achieved in a relatively short period of time. I think it is fair to say that the BCA has been through a really positive revolution and while there is still more to do, we can all be proud of how far we have come to professionalise and modernise this proud and historic organisation for the better. I am looking forward to what we can achieve in the future!

How does being a part of the British Chiropractic Association and its Patient Charter prepare you to discuss how Chiropractic is integral to UK healthcare?

To me, being integral to UK healthcare means that most members of the UK population would consider Chiropractic as part of their regular healthcare, alongside other professions such as GP’s, dentists and opticians. Being a member of the British Chiropractic Association is key to making this Vision a reality. It is what we state as our ambition and it is key to the strategy our Staff, Board Members and committees work towards. The Patient Charter is central to this aim with its incredible attention to standards, ethics, research, and strongly instilling trust into the core of our profession. The BCA is the home for chiropractors who put patients first and is best placed to help patients, other healthcare professions and Government understand how integral chiropractic would be of benefit to the huge burden of MSK conditions in the UK.