I have the honour of taking on the role of Chair following Michael Watson’s retirement from the Board – a hard act to follow from a very committed and experienced individual.
The CNHC is unique in that it is the only Accredited Register for complementary therapies set up with government support. As it does not have a role as a professional organisation, it is wholly independent. It exists solely to protect the public by enabling the highest standards of practitioner performance. A position I will seek to retain.
CNHC will continue to ensure education and training, plus ongoing continuous professional development, meet high standards that are rigorously implemented.
I have been a supporter of integrated healthcare for a number of years and as an NHS commissioner sought to include access to complementary health services for patients when I could. This particularly included care and support in the treatment of long-term conditions and also in pain management. I firmly believe complementary therapies have a strong and valued contribution in working together with NHS services, particular at this time when health services are under immense pressure, not just from Covid-19, but from a backlog of patients waiting for treatment, and competing demands for limited funding.
Clients and patients, quite rightly, see themselves as the prime manager of their health and wellbeing and want more communication between health providers that could support them in better integration of their options. Government healthcare policy and planning should identify the diversity of influences on the public’s health, including the range of complementary healthcare services available and the positive contribution that they can make. CNHC will continue to work hard to lobby for the further integration of complementary treatments and therapies with mainstream NHS services.
Some NHS commissioners and clinicians, and indeed some members of the public, feel that complementary therapies need to further prove their value and clinical effectiveness. One method is to promote research and clinical studies to demonstrate benefit, clinical efficiency and positive health impact of complementary therapies.
We have challenges ahead of us in maintaining the high standards we have set for our Registrants and strengthening public confidence in them; in engaging with government as we seek to influence health policy and planning; and, in promoting research and clinical studies in complementary and natural therapies to further evidence base the positive contribution that you, as CNHC registered complementary healthcare professionals who have voluntarily made the choice to Stand Up for Standards, make to healthcare.
I am delighted to be taking on the role of Chair of the CNHC Board and am committed to moving forward to tackle those challenges.