Three working H’s : 2) Herb Work

I’ve been very busy herbally, both with patients and with admin.

There’s been an update on the Statutory Regulation business. I wrote to Andy Burnham and to my MP as advised by my professional body, but rather than using the template suggested, I opted instead, to copy and paste my blog entry on the subject – just as it was, in its entirety. Andy Burnham has yet to respond, but my MP’s reply was:

Thank you for your e-mail. It was much more interesting than the standard e-mail I have been receiving. I do support your call for regulation and have written to Any Burnham urging that course of action on him. Quite often Ministers make decisions at the last minute – make things easier if the matter is controversial.

Since then, the government has released a press statement on the subject and my professional body has given their response:

Some professional associations have been announcing that we have achieved statutory regulation – but I am afraid that celebrations are premature as we have no definitive documentary evidence that statutory regulation is to be awarded. We will now be pushing for documentary proof. (NB: The press release says that the Government is “minded to legislate” – crucially it does not specify the type of legislation).

The press release is at least clear that we will not be regulated by the HPC – rather we are now supposed to be regulated by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Nobody had previously anticipated this possibility for two main reasons:
– the CNHC does not currently have powers to statutorily regulate
– the 2007 White Paper Trust, Assurance and Safety: the regulation of health professionals in the 21st century, made clear that “the Government will not establish any new statutory regulators”

If the Government now intends to make the CNHC a statutory regulator and if this still means that we will gain the status of “authorised health professional” that we require, then we need not necessarily lose any sleep that we are not to be within the HPC – but these are big “ifs”.

The press release is subject to sins of omission and contains a number of worrying statements:
– it does not specify that we are to be statutorily regulated
– it misrepresents the history of our regulation and our active part in it
– it says we must be registered with the CNHC but does not state the type of registration
– what does “without the full trappings of professional recognition” mean?
– we are to await a further “full joint response” – when will we get this?

In the absence of any further documentary statements the press release presents great scope for backsliding and for reneging on the privately voiced commitment to statutorily regulate – presumably it was designed to allow such scope.

And so we still don’t know what’s going on…!

In the meantime, I’ve found the money to renew my insurances, and just have to do my professional membership now. Looks like I’m in this for another year at least 🙂

Having got into a real muddle with my accounts last year, simply by being so behind, I have been determined this (financial) year, to keep my accounts up to date on a monthly basis. I’m pleased to say that I managed it, and so on Wednesday, I updated to the end of March, put together a summary and all the documentary evidence, and now my accounts are ready to be given to the accountant as soon as I get my tax form. YAY! Feels GOOD! 🙂

Finally, I’ve been planning a complete re-write of my clinic website for ages and have been asking Stephen to design a new look site for me. At last, he’s done it, it looks great,and I can’t wait to get started! My current site looks cluttered and is full of differing fonts, sizes, jumbled information and generally looks a mess. It’s also a nightmare to update as it mainly has to be done in HTML rather than WYSIWG mode and it can make me cross eyed staring at pages of code after a while (which means I put it off! ) 🙁

Old web page

I wanted a new one that is clean, uncluttered and simple to navigate – as well as simple to update. Stephen’s new design looks great and you can have a sneaky preview:

New Herb web site preview

Running my own business is hard work – there’s only me to do everything from answering the phone and booking appointments, to managing the accounts and writing the website (besides actually treating the patients, of course!) but I do love it and I love being my own boss.

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