Coming together – raising the profile of members and the profession

The last couple of years – life ‘post Covid-19′ – has been a good opportunity for the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) to re-establish bonds with like-minded organisations. By collaborating, we’re playing an active part in something bigger, working together to improve the profile of members and the profession.

We actively work with reputable associations, including Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) and the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ATCM). Last weekend, myself and Ian Appleyard, Research & Policy Manager, were able to reinforce connections and continue conversations with them, as we were invited to attend separate events, hosted by UK Centre of Chinese Medicine (CCMUK) and ATCM. They were both great opportunities to emphasise the importance of upholding high professional standards in the training and practice of TCM, something we know is extremely important to our members.

CCMUK Conference, London
I was delighted to be invited to the CCMUK conference that occurred at the Royal College of Medicine in London on the 7 & 8 October. Delegates were joined by a contingent from the University of Shanghai and explored the development of research in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. It also provided an opportunity to explore how professional bodies are supporting members in practice. I was delighted to speak on behalf of BAcC, by far the largest and most established organisation in the field. I explored such themes as PSA accreditation, the need for continued CPD and our lobbying efforts to support members in practice. We had an excellent presentation by our very own member, Charlie Buck, who explored how we communicate what TCM physicians bring to healthcare. It was also an excellent opportunity to speak with our colleagues at the RCHM to discuss closer collaboration (more on this to come!). I was pleased to meet with many of our own members such as Yizhen Jia (formerly a teacher at the Univeristy of Westminster) and hear from her about life in practice post-COVID and the support we provide.

ATCM Gala Dinner
Last Saturday, 7 October, I took a trip to Manchester to attend the ATCM’s annual conference gala dinner. I was very pleased to be invited. It gave me the opportunity to meet up with some familiar faces from the past, including Mei Xing the current ATCM president. I was invited to speak (in Chinese) and focused on the past, present and future of acupuncture, as well as the ever-increasing research and evidence base that demonstrates its positive effects. It was a very enjoyable evening with some traditional dances and the singing of some popular Chinese songs. The Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine alumni association sang 万水千山总是情(wan shui qian shan zong shi qing), a famous Cantonese song. Another song was 上海滩 (Shanghai tan), in this YouTube clip you might be able to spot a young Chow Yun Fat. Perhaps next year graduates of one of the BAAB colleges or the BAcC Governing Board could sing a song at our annual conference?!

It was also a useful networking event. I spoke to members of the ATCM board and other delegates. I feel that members of the ATCM have a strong conviction in the need for a comprehensive training in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Moreover, there is a lot of interest in how acupuncture can be better integrated into the UK mainstream healthcare system and it was great to be able to share current progress with our Integrated Projects programme and our international working with the European Traditional Chinese Medicine Association (ETCMA).

Jennifer Norton, CEO, and Ian Appleyard, Research & Policy Manager
October 2023