ePetition - End health inequalities by opening up the market to Any Willing Complementary Therapy Provider

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ePetition details

End health inequalities by opening up the market to Any Willing Complementary Therapy Provider

We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to open up the public sector market to ‘Any Willing Provider’ to allow complementary therapy centres to bid to provide National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)-recommended complementary treatments.

NHS reforms are not ‘creeping privatisation’ but ending Hobson’s choice of treatment (drugs)
This petition is addressed to the Council, because Local Authorities will soon be responsible for the NHS budget. (about £500 mpa in the city of Brighton and Hove). Patients pay for the NHS in their taxes, so the following treatments should be freely commissioned and provided by the Council. Polls show:
• 3 out of 4 patients want free complementary therapy on the NHS (Foundation for Integrated Health (FIH).
• 1 out of 2 GPs recommend their patients to try complementary therapy (FIH).

Health inequalities
At present, complementary therapy has to be paid for by the patient. This causes health inequalities because the rich can and do pay for it, so are healthier, and the poor cannot afford it, so are sicker. The Marmot report, (Feb 2010) showed that on average, the poor develop long term conditions 18 years before the rich, and die 9 years earlier. Patients have the statutory right to NICE-recommended treatment if their doctor says it is clinically appropriate under the NHS constitution. (which became law in Jan 2010). The following complementary treatments obtained NICE-recommendation and clinical guidance numbers in the year stated:

• The Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) 8 week course for depression, (CG 23 Dec 2004) which has since also had spectacular success with drug and alcohol addicts.
• Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS) (CG61 Feb 2008)
• Spinal manipulation by chiropractors and osteopaths for low back pain, (CG88 May 2009) These 3 conditions are the reasons given by patients for 2 out of 3 GP visits and time off work.
The present waiting list for these treatments is thousands of years.
The above italicised treatments are provided free on the NHS, (so that commissioners can tick the box: ‘complies with NICE guidelines’) but in such tiny quantity that the waiting time is thousands of years. This non-provision results in health inequalities, and breaks the law. The Council should comply with the law by giving all patients choice of the above treatments free at the point of use, by opening up the public sector health market to complementary therapy centres. These centres are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which the prime minister said on 11.2.11 should get 25% of public sector contracts. The Council should commission these treatments in sufficient numbers that the waiting time is short (much less than 18 weeks) The result would be a halving of the present public health figures by 2016, and the elimination of health inequalities by 2020.

Background of SECTCo
This petition was submitted by John Kapp of the Social Enterprise Complementary Therapy Company (SECTCo, see http://www.sectco.org). He launched a similar e-petition on 1.11.09 calling for complementary therapy to be provided free on the NHS, which attracted 445 signatures. SECTCo has recently offered to contract with commissioners to provide the above treatments to NHS patients, sick council staff, and drug and alcohol addicts, and is awaiting their response. For further information, e mail johnkapp@btinternet.com or call 417997.

This ePetition ran from 13/04/2011 to 31/05/2011 and has now finished.

9 people signed this ePetition.


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