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Regulation of herbal practitioners

In 2009 the Department of Health sought views on whether, and if so how, to regulate acupuncturists, herbal medicine practitioners and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners. We objected to the proposed professional registration scheme in a joint submission to the consultation by Sense About Science, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Institute of Biomedical Science, the Medical Research Society, the Medical Schools Council, the Physiological Society and the Royal College of Pathologists.

On 8th September 2010 the Voice of Young Science Network launched its Old Wives' Traditional Medicine Accreditation Scheme to draw attention to the Department of Health's proposed professional registration scheme for practitioners of traditional medicine, which will regulate everything except whether a practitioner has medical training or is practicing an evidence-based discipline. The Voice of Young Science School of Old Wives' Traditional Medicine hit the streets of London, handing out diplomas for people to practice in the medical tradition of Old Wives' Tales. Young medics and researchers in lab coats stood outside the Department of Health and registered any members of the public who could correctly answer questions about traditional advice and cures.

On 16th February 2011, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced that herbal medicine practitioners will be regulated by the Health Professions Council from April 2012 and the Department of Health published an analysis of the consultation responses regarding the regulation of practitioners of herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncturists.

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