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The IFA Becomes Core Member of Integrated Healthcare Collaborative (IHC)
This September, the International Federation of Aromatherapy (IFA) has stepped up a further gear to become a core member of the Integrated Healthcare Collaborative (IHC). The Collaborative was formed in April of 2020 and currently has approximately 29 professional bodies represented.
The IHC was formed as a response to the government’s APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) for Integrated Healthcare report of December 2018, entitled: "Integrated Healthcare: Putting the pieces together".
A main recommendation from the report was that: "Professional associations representing complementary, traditional and natural healthcare should work more closely together on common issues, to share knowledge and experience.” And also, that: “A formal collaborative should be established which brings together major associations to take the field forward collectively." The IHC came into being to help better health outcomes through improved integration of healthcare services. The organisation is established with over 30 years of work and collaboration between the former All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare and other leading organisations in the field.
The IFA, this year celebrating its 35th Anniversary, is well-placed to join the IHC. With over 30 years in training and CPD, the IFA regulates and accredits standards in aromatherapy for both practitioners and qualification providers. Set up for the safety of the public, the IFA has been a registered charity since 1986. The IFA has the highest standard of training in the UK and pioneered aromatherapy in the NHS, hospices and care professions, which is why it is as accepted by the UK medical profession as it is today.
In March this year also, the IFA also achieved Professional Standards Authority (PSA) accreditation. The Professional Standards Authority is an independent body accountable to Parliament and oversees the UK’s nine statutory health and care regulatory bodies, including the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council. It launched its Accredited Register programme under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to accredit voluntary registers of professionals working in a variety of health and social care occupations that are not currently statutorily regulated, such as aromatherapy.
Pauline Allen, CEO of the IFA said: “Joining the IHC in the same year as gaining PSA accreditation, is a great step forward for us. At the IFA we are incredibly proud of our achievements and hope to build on the success of getting PSA accreditation by taking our organisation from strength to strength. This will mean through lobbying government, talking to and building relationships with external stakeholders and through developing our networks. We look forward to a bright future with the IHC, with our members at the very core of our focus.”
IHC Latest press release
IHC CALLS ON GOVERNMENTS TO DESIGNATE COMPLEMENTARY, TRADITIONAL AND NATURAL THERAPISTS AS ESSENTIAL WORKERS
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 IFA and its colleagues 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.”