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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Booking your COVID-19 booster?

You will need to provide proof of your profession if you are using your status as a health care worker to book your booster vaccine. To do this you just need to download your annual registration certificate from the o zone which shows you are a regulated health professional.

On this page we are collating all our updates and key advice from government plus other useful information in relation to COVID-19. 

Advice for patients wishing to see an osteopath 

In the context of COVID-19, osteopaths are being advised to use their professional judgement, in discussion with patients, to determine whether face-to-face treatment is appropriate in the individual circumstances, taking into account the likely benefits and risks and to ensure they explain these clearly to patients to ensure they gain informed consent.

Osteopaths are advised to follow infection control guidance. This may include wearing a mask or additional protective equipment (PPE), cleaning the room between patients, and minimising waiting times within the clinic. 

Many osteopaths will also offer remote consultations to patients, for whom a face-to-face session may not be possible, or recommended, in the professional judgement of the osteopath. Patients should talk through any concerns they may have about attending for treatment in the light of COVID-19 with their osteopath.

Patients can use the GOsC Register Search facility to find an osteopath in their area.

If a patient is unable to find an osteopath in their area who is able to treat them, we are suggesting they can seek advice for an urgent medical problem from NHS 111.

Guidance for osteopathic practices

Our interim infection control guidance has been updated to reflect the Infection prevention and control for seasonal respiratory infections in health and care settings (including SARS-CoV-2) for winter 2021 to 2022 issued by the UK Health Security Agency.

Osteopaths may therefore continue to practise, subject to complying with relevant guidance and the restrictions currently in place in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and using our infection control guidance to minimise the risk to patients, osteopaths and others in the clinical environment. 

This is likely to include:

  • Being mindful of Government guidance about social distancing and waiting room requirements.
  • Triaging patients over the phone prior to attendance to ensure they and members of their household do not have relevant symptoms. Consider, with the patient, whether a video or phone consultation may be an appropriate treatment option.
  • Being aware of what to do in the event of contact with someone with suspected COVID-19.
  • Ensuring that stringent infection control procedures are in place where they are practising and that there are policies in place to reduce the transmission of any diseases.
  • Mechanisms to reduce the risk of the spread of infection including personal protective equipment and being aware of increased isolation requirements in relation to international travel and being a close contact even if vaccinated.

Osteopaths are required to work within the framework of the Osteopathic Practice Standards (OPS) and should ensure that discussions with patients about vaccines are based upon credible and legitimate sources of public health information such as the NHS website or the MHRA website. Read more on vaccines.

The professional membership body, the Institute of Osteopathy, has a COVID-19 hub which is also a useful source of information and guidance.

We have published a statement on remote consultations.

We have published a statement which warns osteopaths not to make false coronavirus claims in their advertising.

We have published a statement about vaccinations.

Regulation updates

On 5 August 2020, we published an interim remote hearings protocol and a practice note on questioning witnesses.

On 12 June 2020, we published an updated statement on fitness to practise activities highlighting that patient safety remains the key priority.   

On 3 March 2020, we published a joint statement with the other health and care professional regulators across the UK on how we will continue to regulate in light of novel coronavirus

Government advice

The Department of Health and Social Care, and other agencies including Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland are regularly updating their guidance for health and care professionals and information for the public.

The information and guidance are being updated regularly as the situation develops, and osteopaths need to remain alert for any updates.

The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England
COVID-19: guidance for health professionals (PHE and DHSC)
COVID-19: guidance for health professionals and other organisations (PHE)
Latest information and advice for the public

Health Protection Scotland
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for health protection team
Latest information and advice for the public

The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health Wales
Advice including who to contact if you are concerned about coronavirus

Department of Health (Northern Ireland)
COVID-19 (coronavirus) - situation in Northern Ireland

Allied Health Professionals

On 07 December 2020, the Chief Allied Health Professions Officers jointly issued a statement further supporting allied health professionals as they tackle COVID-19.

On 19 March 2020 the Chief Allied Health Professions Officers jointly published a statement on supporting allied health professionals and allied health professional support workers during the COVID-19 epidemic in the UK.

Osteopathic educational providers

On 20 March 2020, we published a COVID-19 statement to Osteopathic educational providers to outline our position.

Communications to the profession

We have received a large number of queries which we have responded to individually. You can see the answers to the main questions here:

During the COVID-19 period, in addition to the news items we are publishing and the updates we are making to this page and on social media, we have been in touch with osteopaths directly in response to email or phone enquiries. Additionally, we have been in contact with osteopaths through the following:

We also received a petition about registration fees from a number of osteopaths and this was our response.

If you need to get in touch

If you have any queries, please email: covid19@osteopathy.org.uk

We are committed to ensuring a safe and inclusive workspace for all our visitors and our staff. Our office meetings policy sets out how we do this in relation to meetings that take place at Osteopathy House.

Useful links