The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has recognised that practitioners registered with CNHC support public health by encouraging their clients to make positive lifestyle changes that could improve their health and wellbeing.
This recognition is one of the key messages in a joint report released last week with the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA), which looks at the potential impact that the ‘untapped resource’ of practitioners on Accredited Registers (ARs) could have on the nation’s public health.
The valuable support offered by CNHC registrants includes improvements to diet and nutrition, support with giving up smoking and losing weight, support with reducing stress, improving sleep, managing pain and other symptoms, as well as overall enhancements to wellbeing.
A key focus of the report is to identify barriers that inhibit the best use of this untapped resource. For example, a key recommendation is for AR practitioners to have the authority to make direct NHS referrals - in appropriate cases - thereby reducing the administrative burden on GP surgeries.
The Society is adamant that the UK must make use of every opportunity to improve public health and make progress on health priorities such as reducing obesity and smoking.
Practitioners on accredited registers, the report says, have the potential to make a significant contribution to public health – one which, according to RSPH Chief Executive Shirley Cramer and PSA Chief Executive Harry Cayton, we can “ill afford to ignore.”
The report found that because practitioners on accredited registers build relationships of trust with their clients, and also have comparatively long treatment sessions, they are uniquely suited to offer brief interventions and ‘effective signposting’ for health concerns.
The report is the culmination of a consultation launched at the Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA’s) annual conference in early May. It follows focus group discussions which involved a number of CNHC registrants, as well as the RSPH’s survey that was sent to practitioners on every Accredited Register last year.
CNHC contributed to the report by sending out our own survey. We were delighted that 25 percent of our registrants responded with very clear messages and information that we fed back to RSPH and PSA.
CNHC Chair Mike Watson commented: “We take special pride in the role CNHC has played in making this report happen. Two years ago, in July 2015, the RSPH published a report looking at the potential for professionals such as hairdressers, librarians and leisure service providers to collaborate with other services and organisations in delivering the country’s public health agenda.
“That report, however, made no mention of complementary therapies, or practitioners on other accredited registers such as counsellors and psychotherapists. CNHC brought this oversight to the attention of the PSA, which led directly to this joint project on the positive impact that practitioners on accredited registers can have on public health.”