NICE keeps 2004 guidance on supportive and palliative care which covers complementary therapy

Complementary therapies at risk of being removed from NICE guidelines – have your say…In a move to update, broaden and retitle its 2004 guideline, Improving Supportive and Palliative Care for Adults with Cancer, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) proposed removing an entire section on complementary therapy services.

Following a large number of comments from FHT and other registered stakeholders during public consultation, NICE has now confirmed that the 2004 guideline will be retained, without any changes, and that a new guideline will be developed on the service delivery element of the end of life care for adults.

The FHT is delighted that NICE has reversed its decision to produce new guidance on supportive and palliative care that would omit complementary therapy altogether. However, it is disappointed that the retained 2004 guideline contains information that is not up to date and fails to signpost the public, patients and care commissioners to the Accredited Registers programme, which wasn’t launched until 2013.

Jennifer Wayte, President of the FHT, says ‘While we are of course delighted that NICE is to retain guidance on supportive and palliative care that covers complementary therapy services, it is disappointing that some of the information contained is now 12 years out of date. As we all know, the landscape has significantly changed in that time, including the introduction of the Accredited Registers programme. Overseen by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, a body accountable to Parliament, the aim of this programme is to provide assurance to the public, patients and care commissioners when seeking a health practitioner who is not regulated by statute. This obviously includes complementary therapists, who offer vital support to patients and their families – not just in NHS hospitals, hospices and other conventional healthcare settings, but also at home.’

‘By signposting the Accredited Registers programme in relevant guidelines, NICE would help to ensure better safety and standards of care.’

As the holder of the largest independently Accredited Register for complementary healthcare therapists, the FHT will continue to campaign for further recognition of the Accredited Registers programme and the 10,000+ registrants listed on the FHT Accredited Register.

Read: Improving Supportive and Palliative Care for Adults with Cancer (NICE, 2004)

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