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NICE to remove CAM from Palliative Care Guidelines

The latest revision of NICE Guidelines for Improving Supportive and Palliative Care in Adults is being considered and the scoping process has recommended that Complementary Therapy Services (CT) are removed from the guidelines. The rationale and implications for removing CT do not appear to have been given - it just states on line 109 of the document that Complementary therapy services will be removed. Complementary Therapies are given by many of our members to cancer patients, who are multidisciplinary practitioners that include reflexology, aromatherapy massage, Reiki and others. There is already good research that proves the efficacy of these therapies in helping to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with the treatment of cancer and the help and support it can give the families who care for their relatives. Complementary therapies such as aromatherapy can also help with bereavement as there are many essential oils that help psychologically. If NICE does go ahead and withdraw support for CT, this may have implications for future funding of CT in establishments that receive NHS funding for palliative care, and may also result in CT being removed from other NICE guidelines.

Complementary Health Professionals has registered as a stakeholder and we have already sent our comments. We told them that considering the government money that has been spent on CAM since the House of Lords Report in 2000 on the regulation of CAM and the development of the National Occupational Standards, we feel that removing CAM from the NHS Guidelines would be a hugely retrograde step. We pointed out the research that has been conducted to highlight how effective certain therapies are in palliative care and urged them not to remove CAM from the guidelines.

Comments are due in tomorrow - 29th January, so if you have not already commented on this and you feel as strongly as we do about the changes that are being proposed, please log your objection today or tomorrow. Members can use our name as a stakeholder or as an individual.


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