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Herbalists ARE essential workers

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The Integrated Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) has written to Health Ministers across the UK, calling on them to designate complementary, traditional and natural therapists and practitioners as essential healthcare workers, so that they can continue to support patient health and wellbeing during tier 3 lockdowns and above.

Following the easing of government restrictions imposed during the first national lockdown, the complementary, traditional and natural healthcare industry has been working hard to support patients across the UK with a range of health and wellbeing issues.

However, with an increasing number of tier 3 lockdowns, and now national lockdowns, in order to suppress the spread of Covid 19, it appears likely that these very high alert levels will continue for some time to come. It is often during these times of lockdown that patients look for support from this sector. However, under previous government local lockdown regulations, many have not been able to do so. The result is that patients cannot access a range of services which could support their physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing. For these patients, these are essential services.

The industry has worked hard to ensure that therapists and practitioners are working in Covid 19 safe environments, and that they are using government Test and Trace protocols as required. As such, the risk of this industry increasing the incidence of Covid 19 is minimal, yet the benefits to public health and wellbeing could be considerable.

The complementary, traditional and natural healthcare industry is professionally run, and professional associations within the IHC have strict codes or conduct and work to the very highest standards of practice. We contribute to the physical and mental health and wellbeing of millions of people across the UK.

"The Institute and its partners in the IHC believe that the UK Government and devolved administrations must now designate healthcare professionals in this sector as essential workers. This would mean that they can be assured of working during all lockdowns, including tier 3 lockdowns and above, so that they can provide Covid 19 safe services to patients, and additional capacity to support our NHS partners.”