We still find ourselves in a position where self-employed Registrants cannot return to practising face to face due to the coronavirus crisis. Our advice has to comply with current UK Government guidance for England as well as for the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Although there has been some easing of lockdown measures, at the time of writing the only private sector practitioners who can resume seeing patients face-to-face are those who are subject to statutory regulation. Examples include dentists, podiatrists, chiropractors and osteopaths.

We appreciate that this is a very frustrating situation for everyone. From what we’ve heard from our Registrants, their clients are enquiring if they can make appointments with them face to face and they have witnessed the often very negative impact on clients’ health and wellbeing as a result of not having access to therapies. The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has written to Government asking for confirmation that all practitioners on Accredited Registers can also re-open their premises (subject to robust infection control procedures). We have been in constant contact with senior staff at the PSA to support and encourage these efforts.

In the meantime, we published our guidance on preparing to return to work on 28 May, so that you could start planning for the infection control measures you will need to put in place once you are able to re-open.

Our June blog post from CNHC Registrant, Johanne Gosling, who has been able to return to work as an employee at a care home, gives an insight on practising while observing strict infection control procedures.

Guidance for CNHC Registrants: Preparing to return to work

Our advice applies to all self-employed CNHC Registrants.

We hope to receive clarification from the Government very shortly on the issue of whether our Registrants should wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to practise ‘hands-on’ and if so, what items of PPE that should be. We will then be issuing additional advice on returning to working ‘hands-on’.

Covid-19: Frequently Asked Question

Q: Why can osteopaths and chiropractors continue to practice ‘hands-on’ but disciplines on CNHC’s Accredited Register cannot?

A: In the UK occupations such as osteopaths and chiropractors are regulated by law and it is a criminal offence to use those titles unless they are registered with the General Osteopathic Council or the General Chiropractic Council. All regulated health and care occupations are exempt from COVID-19 restrictions on working. Our Register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), which is an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament. CNHC’s primary purpose is to protect the public. Registering with CNHC is voluntary and by doing so, our Registrants show that they are committed to standing up for standards.

The PSA has written to the Government to address the disparity between legally regulated healthcare practitioners and practitioners on its Accredited Registers. We will keep you updated on any responses received.

One exception to the current situation is if a CNHC Registrant is employed by a regulated health or social care organisation. If that organisation is exempted from COVID-19 working restrictions, their employer can ask them to return to practice and they will have to follow infection control procedures that their employer has put in place. One such example is illustrated in our latest blog post below.

Blog post: Returning to practise reflexology in a social care setting

As mentioned above, regulated health and social care organisations, which include care homes, are exempt from Government restrictions on working due to COVID-19.

In our June blog post, CNHC Registrant and reflexologist Johanne Gosling shares her experience of returning to work at a care home and treating residents during the coronavirus crisis.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

A reminder that the deadline to apply for the first grant in the SEISS scheme is 13 July. The grant will be awarded on 80 per cent of average profits up to a limit of £7,500.

A second and final grant can be claimed from the scheme, limited to 70 per cent of average profits up to a limit of £6,570. You do not need to have claimed the first grant in order to be eligible for the second. The second grant will open for online applications in August.

Obesity and COVID-19

A recent study has found that fat tissue may increase risk in COVID-19. It can be found on the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) website.

Reiki in Northern Ireland Update

The Northern Ireland Executive announced on 18 June that businesses involving close personal contact can provisionally reopen on 6 July.

For self-employed CNHC Registrants practising in Northern Ireland, once this is confirmed, this means:

  • If you practise face to face therapies and are able to maintain the required distancing measures, you may return to work on 6 July. You should follow CNHC guidance on preparing to return to work which can be found here.
  • If you practise ‘hands-on” therapies, you may return to work as long as you have the requisite infection control procedures in place. As well as  our guidance on returning to work, you should follow additional advice for ‘hands-on” therapies on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which can be found here.

We are waiting for the UK Government to confirm whether businesses involving close personal contact can re-open in England on 4 July.

For the moment our advice for England, Scotland and Wales remains the same – self-employed CNHC Registrants cannot return to practising face to face or ‘hands-on’. Registrants should continue to work remotely, if they are able to do so.

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