This is the British Acupuncture Council’s newsletter. Research-focused articles appear regularly.
The BAcC has produced a series of Fact Sheets that summarise the evidence for acupuncture for each of a large number of different conditions
These provide more detailed analysis and discussion of the acupuncture evidence. The 13 papers were published from 1996 to 2010 and the run has now ended.
In October 2013 I went to a stakeholders workshop to hear about, and discuss, NICE’s plan for an updated guideline on low back pain. The 2009 recommendation of acupuncture has become a key part of BAcC marketing and may have knock-on effects for all of us through increased acceptability in orthodox medical circles. However, the acupuncture recommendation has never gained much of a foothold when it comes to funding primary care services, leaving NICE with egg on its face. This was one of the stated reasons for the guideline update. One solution would be to persuade the NHS to comply with the recommendation; the easier and cheaper option would be simply to uncouple acupuncture.
This was to be the second comprehensive guideline to complementary therapy use for a specific healthcare area produced by the Prince of Wales’ Foundation for Integrated Health (FIH). The first, on Supportive and Palliative Care, was published successfully in 2003. The second, on Mental Health, was in production for a long time but was still unfinished when the FIH was wound up in 2008. We have a copy of the acupuncture chapter, which would have been just one amongst many, but stands alone sufficiently well to reproduce it here. After introductory sections on acupuncture in general it goes on to provide a summary of the evidence in respect of different mental health conditions (refer to the BAcC Briefing Papers for more recent information) and then to consider how acupuncture could be embedded within the existing mental health provision how such services could be developed and evaluated and what governance would be required. Examples are provided of good practice in this area.