Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed the holiday season. The New Year will see us hit the ground running, and build on the success of our activities in 2023 to support our
multiple disciplines, including Herbal Medicine, Nutritional Therapy, Health Coach, Acupuncture and Homeopathy.
Today the ANP is fully engaged with governmental discussions that are of extreme significance to the future of naturopathic practitioners, affecting the access and use of supplements, herbal medicines, homeopathic remedies as well as the health and rights of the wider public. Our message is simple: ANP practitioners help people, and people will benefit from ANP practitioners. The ANP aims to create unity within the profession, to support practitioners and to invest in delivering positive health messages to the public as one unified voice. The Association believes that to support practitioners is to support the growth of the profession, the consequence of which is the embedding of Natural Health into the wider health culture of the UK and Ireland.
Key areas of focus for 2024:
Building a strategy to protect our profession.
In 2024, ANP political will be focusing on lobbying policymakers on laws in the making that will influence Natural Therapies. We are already in communication with key bodies about recognising the value of additional types of evidence beyond the unhelpful RCT model. This follows NICE’s ongoing investigation into how other categories of evidence, such as real-world data, should be used in practice. We will keep you posted on how this conversation develops.
Forging connections with like-minded groups.
To consolidate our position in healthcare, we will continue to advocate for our members with well-connected groups, including the Integrated Health Collaborative and Integrated Medicine Alliance. Working together gives us more power to lobby MPs and the government to change how healthcare is delivered in the UK.
Practically, we are ensuring ANP practitioners are known to social prescribers in GP practices. These are the professionals who can signpost to care outside the NHS. GPs are not allowed to refer to privately named practitioners, but the social prescriber can spotlight helpful therapies and associations representing them. We are working to influence funding decisions made by Integrated Care Boards (previously Clinical Commissioning Groups) to allow patients to access Natural Therapies without having to self-fund. We are learning from the achievements of other groups (e.g., hypnosis for IBS, reflexology for cancer pain) to achieve this.
Furthermore, we have started forming an in-house legal team to consult on matters that could impact our industry so we can be at the forefront of changes to ensure the best outcome to protect the future of our members.
Education and cutting-edge CPD.
In 2024, we will be extending our CPD programme to regional areas of the UK and Ireland to foster community and support for our practitioner members. We will continue to provide our online CPD services, including webinars and mentoring that support clinical development and learning for our members. We have already started engaging keynote speakers for our 6th Annual Summit, scheduled for the 14th and 15th of September, under the theme of chronic pathologies and complex conditions. Next year will also see our first Dublin Summit to support our Irish members.
Dedicated Herbal Medicine support.
In 2024, we will be launching a new initiative to support the various sub-modalities within ANP. This includes herbalists, who like our other members provide an invaluable contribution to medicine. In 2024, herbal medicine practitioners will start seeing more dedicated CPD, business mentoring, support networks and community building to ensure herbalists thrive as practitioners and grow awareness of herbal medicine amongst the public.
Strengthening our community within ANP.
In the New Year, we will be adding more benefits to our association to support our members professionally. In early 2024, we will be launching The ANP Business Club which is being developed to support the business needs of running a clinic and thriving in practice. We will also be encouraging members to use and discuss cases on our closed ANP Facebook group as a means to build practitioner discussions and support more inexperienced practitioners. Lastly, in 2023, we started a new project to rebuild our popular Contraindications Database which will be completed in early 2024. After the completion of the database rebuild, we intend on adding additional drugs and nutraceuticals as an ongoing project and professional resource for both students and full members. Our commitment to having our own database stems from our values surrounding the pharmaceutical industry, and the fact that popular databases, such as The Natural Medicines Database, are owned and produced by Big Pharma.