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This page provides statistics relating to osteopaths and osteopathic practice.

Osteopathic profession

  • There are 5,341 osteopaths on the UK Statutory Register of Osteopaths (at 1 March 2019). Of these, 2,631 are male and 2,710 are female.
  • The majority of osteopaths are aged between 31 and 50, although the profession includes all ages between 21 and 80.
  • Although osteopaths practise in all countries of the United Kingdom, the greatest number are to be found in England (4,568). The rest are in Scotland (155), Wales (143), Northern Ireland (29), and outside the UK (446).

Osteopathic training and professional development

  • Training to be an osteopath takes 4 years full-time or 5 years part-time. There are 11 osteopathic education institutions awarding qualifications recognised by the General Osteopathic Council.
  • Osteopaths must complete 30 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) each year.

Osteopathic patients

  • Around 30,000 people currently consult osteopaths every working day.
  • 54% of new patients are seen within one working day after contacting the osteopath; 95% are seen within one week.

Osteopathic treatment

  • Most osteopaths work in private practice. The average initial consultation fee is £48 for a 30-minute session and the average fee for subsequent sessions is £42 (Institute of Osteopathy Membership Census 2014) but fees do vary across the UK depending on the osteopath’s experience and the location of the practice.
  • Osteopathy remains principally a form of private healthcare with more than 80% of patients funding their own treatment.
  • Most major private health insurance policies provide cover for osteopathic treatment. In 2007, private health insurance accounted for 10.4% of payments for osteopathic treatment.
  • Public opinion surveys show that 88% of respondents feel the NHS should provide osteopathic treatment, or believe that it is already doing so.

Sources: Statutory Register of Osteopaths; the GOsC Public Awareness Survey (2006) and the GOsC Osteopathic Practice Survey - Pilot Study (2006-07).