This months letters

Let’s honour OH’s heroes

Regarding your news article and comments on occupational health nurses and
MBE Honours (OH, February). I was unable to contribute last month, due to time
constraints, but on being posed the question "who would I nominate" I
was stimulated to think more widely about occupational health’s heroes.

Professionals like Cynthia Atwell, Carol Cholerton and Jean Raper were cited
as deserving honours for contributions to occupational health. I do agree, but
why not widen the debate and challenge our practitioner colleagues to nominate
their OH champions?

While ours is a small sector, we have made great strides to raise our
profile and push workplace health high up the government agenda.

There are many unsung champions in the profession. The time has come to
recognise and acknowledge them. Alongside those already mentioned we will have
some nominees for next year’s list, or perhaps create some form of recognition
within the profession?

Gail Cotton,
President, Association of OH Nurse Practitioners (UK)

Alternative form of therapy

I read with interest your article on the traditional Chinese method of
acupuncture (OH December). As you are no doubt aware, Western acupuncture,
which developed in Europe in the early 1970s and has become popular in the
decades since, is based on entirely different principles. Modern Western
medical acupuncture was not mentioned in the article. The British Medical
Acupuncture Society promotes the use of acupuncture as a therapy by suitable
trained practitioners after orthodox medical diagnosis.

The therapy is based on modern scientific principles rather a traditional
theory. It is recognised that some of our members use a traditional diagnostic
assessment, but this is as an adjunct rather than an alternative to the
orthodox medical approach. That is not to diminish the value of traditional
Chinese acupuncture, but it is not based on modern scientific teaching and

As the article states, it is difficult to identify the lead body in this
field, but it would be misleading not to mention the BMAS and the modern form
of Western acupuncture that we promote and commend to both employers and the

One of the society’s principle aims is to offer safe acupuncture for all,
and to that end we have a system of accreditation which requires members to
undertake a minimum of 100 hours training in order to qualify.

Julian C Price
Chief executive, British Medical Acupuncture Society

Comments are closed.