Updated 14 February 2022
- COVID-19 vaccinations for osteopaths
- Message from the Chief Professions Officers for England
- Communicating with patients about the COVID-19 vaccination
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published a consultation on revoking its requirements for those working in health and social care to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as condition of their deployment in England.
The original mandate planned for April 2022 would have applied to osteopaths employed or commissioned in Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered premises or undertaking CQC regulated activities. Typically, this would apply to osteopaths working in NHS settings or with doctors, nurses or dentists, but not those working in independent practice.
The DHSC has stated that ‘those working in health and social care still have a professional duty to get vaccinated and Get Boosted Now’. It also stated that they ‘will work closely with Royal Colleges and professional regulators to strengthen guidance, and consult on updates to the Department of Health and Social Care’s Code of Practice for regulated providers to strengthen the requirements in relation to COVID-19, which applies to all Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered providers of all health and social care in England’.
GOsC guidance (C5.5 of the Osteopathic Practice Standards) states that osteopaths should ‘take all necessary steps to control the spread of communicable diseases’. Further information about infection control is available in our infection control guidance.
GOsC guidance (D11 of the Osteopathic Practice Standards) states that osteopaths must ensure that any problems with their health ‘do not affect their patients’.
The NHS website, for example, states: ‘Research has shown that the vaccines help:
- reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
- reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
- protect against COVID-19 variants.’
Further information about vaccines is available on the NHS website.
We will continue to work with other health regulators and professional bodies to ensure consistent and ethical standards for patients and health professionals in the UK.
The Chief Professions Officers for England, as well as the Medical Director and Medical Director for Primary Care in England, have also published a letter to all health and social care professionals about their professional responsibility to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection to patients.
Osteopaths are required to work within the framework of the Osteopathic Practice Standards (OPS).
In terms of the COVID-19 vaccines, relevant standards include:
C6: You must be aware of your wider role as a healthcare professional to contribute to enhancing the health and wellbeing of your patients:
You should be aware of public health issues and concerns, and be able to discuss these in a balanced way with patients, or guide them to resources or to other healthcare professionals to support their decision-making regarding these.
B2: You must recognise and work within the limits of your training and competence.
A7: You must make sure your beliefs and values do not prejudice your patients’ care.
D7: You must uphold the reputation of the profession at all times through your conduct, in and out of the workplace.
Our infection control guidance contains more information about the actions that can mitigate against the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in health settings. This may include vaccination.
This article: Opposing Vaccine Hesitancy During the Covid-19 Pandemic, which was published in the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine on 18 February 2021, sets out the views of the international osteopathic community on COVID-19 vaccinations.