Integrated projects

Last week I introduced you to the internet wars open discussion session and this week is the turn of the integrated projects session.

Ian Appleyard: BAcC Policy and Research Manager

Integrated projects is an umbrella term which describes any project where BAcC acupuncturists work with other healthcare professionals and organisations. The benefits of integrated projects are multifaceted. Professional journals, the media and the internet are all arenas in which we can seek to promote acupuncture. However, it is often the case that personal experience is particularly persuasive. This is not just the experience of patients, but also the experience of healthcare professionals/stakeholders who see the results. Personal contacts and working with others over time is usually the best way to breakdown prejudices and get to the root of where differences lie. If a project is successful, then it can be used as an example to encourage others to establish similar projects in other places. Integrated projects offer the chance for us to work with other practitioners to discuss treatment strategies and improve our practise. They lend themselves to collection of data which can in turn be used to publish research articles.

Acupuncture was included in the NICE guidelines for primary chronic pain. However, the guidelines noted it was unclear how the acupuncture would be delivered, given that there is no standard provision within the NHS. NHS referrals can only patients to  for acupuncture PSA Accreditation Register status enables GPs to refer to BAcC members. The structure of healthcare in the UK is being reformed with the establishment of Integrated Healthcare Systems (ICS). ICSs potentially offer opportunities for BAcC members, especially if working in collaboration with the NHS, local councils, community and voluntary organisations. The BAcC have made grants available to support members in developing integrated projects.

In this session we will discuss the opportunities and challenges of working in collaboration with mainstream healthcare services and other organisation such as charities. What are the barriers to forming partnerships? How can these be overcome? What are the benefits?

We will also consider what needs to be done so that real world examples can be used to promote acupuncture.

Whilst the open discussion sessions are designed to be egalitarian, we have invited individuals with specific knowledge to join in the discussions:

  • Beverley de Valois – Supportive Oncology Research Team (SORT) at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre
  • Naji Malak – Stand Easy
  • Claire Diola – Association of Community and Multibed Acupuncture Clinics
  • Robin Sunley – James Cook University Hospital
  • Lesley Pattenden, AACP Vice Chair
  • Dr Sarah Bright, BMAS Trustee

If you are interested in this topic and would like to propose a specific question to be discussed, please send your question to

Still yet to book your ticket to attend the conference? You can have until Friday 2 September to book your place.

ARRC Symposium and The BAcC Annual Conference

Ian Appleyard
BAcC Policy and Research Manager
11 August 2022