Bulletin: November 2020
Latest Government Guidance on working during the current Lock-down
Since the pandemic began, and as far as we can determine, the Government has at no point during the many changes in advice and guidance within the various UK regions specifically stated what self-employed therapists offering a face to face service (e.g. hypnotherapists etc.) may do or may not do. We have consequently been virtually left to ourselves to determine what work may legally be carried out and under what conditions.
Regrettably, this absence of specific, explicit advice for our sector still remains.
However, we can advise that the latest Government announcement in respect of England (and which came into force yesterday) with regard to which businesses may stay open and which may not can be viewed at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/pdfs/uksi_20201200_en.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1t4C-K460conf9wRJZX1k3vJQuet7nuKwIGtPQZcvcG4ViukYPFHNLMwE
Part 3 of the Schedule on pages 31 / 32 (see section 47) states that the following businesses may remain open: Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health.
Whereas the above might appear to indicate that hypnotherapists can therefore continue with face to face working (always with correct safety and sanitising facilities fully in place, of course), we understand that the Department of Health and Social Care may shortly provide some further wording which we hope will provide additional clarification of the situation.
You will note that, as ever, section 47 could be open to interpretation and whilst we would wish to be able to, we are sure you will appreciate that the GHR is not in a position to offer definitive legal advice in this matter. (We have, of course, made a number of attempts throughout the year to elicit relevant, specific guidance from local Health Authorities etc. but all have thus far failed to provide anything of real value).
Nonetheless, based on our reading of the above statement that “other…health services, including services relating to mental health”, we do feel that GHR Registrants (in England) meet this definition.
N.B. We cannot currently advise on the situation in the devolved regions of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but will endeavour to keep all UK regions informed as and when further Government advice is made available.
For further information, and as the GHR is a Verifying Organisation (VO) within the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) tasked with assessing the eligibility of Practitioners to register with that body, we would suggest that you visit https://www.cnhc.org.uk/covid-19-advice-return-to-work-and-working-safely and then click on the ‘Who can return to work’ link immediately under ‘Introduction’, where regular updates on the situation within all UK regions will appear in RED.
Notwithstanding the above, GHR advice is that wherever possible you should consider working remotely during the virus crisis, although we fully appreciate that this may not be either yours or your client’s preferred option.
With this in mind, we will shortly be publishing the results of our recent survey into the comparison between working remotely as opposed to working face to face, which may assist those of you contemplating remote working in your decision-making process.
IMPORTANT: As we cannot advise on insurance matters, if you have not already done so we recommend that you contact your insurance provider to determine whether your policy remains valid for working during this period.
The Administration Team
Views expressed within the above material and any conclusions reached are those of the author
and not necessarily shared by the GHR or the GHSC
©General Hypnotherapy Register