RCHM response to announcement to Chinese herbal medicine statutory regulation

'The Department of Health today announced that herbalists, including practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine, will be regulated by the Health Professions Council from April 2012.

Emma Farrant, secretary of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine, said,

“We are very pleased with this decision. Statutory regulation will ensure that only the most competent practitioners can continue to treat the public.

“The RCHM has been calling for the proper regulation of herbalists for over a decade and we will work closely with the HPC to ensure a smooth transition to the new system.”

While the HPC statutory register is being set up, the RCHM is urging the public to only seek Chinese herbal treatment from practitioners who are members of a professional body. The main organisations in the UK are the RCHM and the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In 2008, a Department of Health steering group stated that the RCHM has demonstrated “good practice with regard to protecting the public” and has “operated appropriately under a voluntary code”.

The RCHM was set up in 1987 and is a voluntary register with 450 members. To join the register, practitioners must be trained to degree standard in Chinese medicine, adhere to a code of ethics and have full professional insurance.'

Lily Lai