To assist in helping to explain Osteopathy please see the following osteopathic information for general practitioners, I hope it is of help to whome ever may read it. Any additional information needed or to speak further please feel free to call.
The Osteopathic Life Clinic’s principle Osteopath Nicholas Flood is registered with both, the General Osteopathic Council in UK and the Osteopathic Council of Ireland.
The Osteopathic Council of Ireland (OCI) aims to be the competent authority for Osteopathy in Ireland. The OCI has a strict membership policy that includes agreeing to abide by a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice that is aligned with other European Regulatory bodies for Osteopathy. As part of the membership criteria all members commit to Continuous Professional Development in order to maintain the highest standards.
The OCI currently has over 110 members nationally.
- What is osteopathy?
The General Osteopathic Council in the UK defines osteopathy as: “…a primary care profession, focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on patients’ general health.
Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopathy is based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal, and osteopathic care focuses on strengthening the musculoskeletal systems to treat existing conditions and to prevent illness.
Osteopaths’ patient-centred approach to health and well-being means they consider symptoms in the context of the patient’s full medical history, as well as their lifestyle and personal circumstances. This holistic approach ensures that all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.”
Osteopaths are trained to examine areas of the body using a highly-developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to determine conditions and identify the body’s points of weakness or excessive strain. Osteopathy is a “package” of care that includes skilled mobilising and manipulative techniques, reinforced by guidance on diet and exercise.
The osteopath will discuss with the patient the most appropriate treatment plan, estimating the likely number of sessions needed to treat their condition effectively. If the osteopath thinks that the condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment, the patient will be advised on how to seek further care. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.
Increasingly osteopaths are working alongside GPs and other healthcare professionals, providing treatment privately covered through most health insurers. Commonly treated conditions include back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, sport and work-related injuries, arthritic pain, joint pain and digestive disorders.
- Is osteopathy safe?
Osteopaths have rigorous clinical training in musculoskeletal disorders. Most courses involve four years full-time study. As part of their training, osteopaths gain primary care skills including triaging for pathology, and will refer back to GPs if further investigations are indicated.
The British Medical Association has produced guidance for GPs confirming that it is safe for GPs to refer to registered osteopaths as they are statutorily regulated and fully accountable to the patient.
- Is osteopathy effective?
“A Medical Research Council trial in 2004 entitled UK Back Pain Exercise and Manipulation comparing treatment options for lower back pain found that spinal manipulation, added to GP care, is clinically effective and the most cost-efficient option for patients.
In 2006, the Department of Health published guidelines entitled The Musculoskeletal Services Framework. A joint responsibility: doing it differently which advocated the establishment of multidisciplinary clinical assessment services and recognised that MSDs can often be resolved quickly and effectively by treatments such as osteopathy.
When taken as a ‘package’ including osteopathic treatment, advice on posture, and exercises, osteopathic care provides a cost-effective, efficient service, with high patient satisfaction rates and referral safety.
Osteopathy should be considered by GPs as a key part of the patient pathway for musculoskeletal conditions: in the times of GP fundholding, GPs referred to osteopaths much more frequently than they do at present because they saw it improving patient outcomes.”
- How widely available is osteopathy?
There are more than 110 osteopaths registered with the OCI. Osteopaths in the UK carry out more than seven million consultations every year. Of those consultations, 54% of new patients are seen within one working day of contacting the osteopath and 95% are seen within one week.
The GOsC in the UK states: “The profession attracts almost equal numbers of male and female practitioners, and some have already qualified in another healthcare practice such as medicine, nursing or physiotherapy.
“Most osteopaths are self-employed and work in the private sector.
6 How do I identify a qualified practitioner for recommendation?
Your local Osteopath should be registered with the Osteopathic Council of Ireland. Simple ask your local Osteopath is he or she registered. The Osteopathic Council have an up to date list of registered Osteopaths here at OCI web Site
7 Are there clinical guidelines for referring a patient to an osteopath?
In Ireland it is up to the individual GP, a GP may recommend an Osteopath but it brings up the area of due care, when does a GP release a patient into the care of another professional. If he refers to a surgeon and the out come is not achieved is there a shared responsibility to both, GP and Surgeon. I think there is. So if you know the practice of your local Osteopath this may go along way to answering this question. It is a personal one at the moment.
8 How much does treatment cost?
Treatment costs are E60 for initial consultation which will be 1 hour in duration and take into account a case history, assessment of the area concerned and if deemed acceptable a treatment. The amount of treatments are varied depending on the presentation. These can range from 4 treatment to longer if the person has a chronic or long standing complaint.
9 How can osteopathy save HSE resources?
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including lower back pain, whiplash-associated disorders, joint injuries and repetitive strain injuries, affect millions of people every year. The costs associated with treating MSDs, in terms of clinical staff time, increased waiting times for investigations, screening and increasing prescription costs, are substantial. Referral to secondary care and tracking patient progress accordingly leads to further cost, bureaucracy and burden on GP time.
Osteopathy is an approach to health and wellbeing in which the role of the musculoskeletal system is emphasised. Although osteopathy can be used to treat a range of conditions, osteopaths treat many patients with musculoskeletal disorders.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recognised the benefits of osteopathy in its guidance for treatment of low back pain in May 2009, which recommends that a course of manual therapies (to include osteopathy) is considered for patients with low back pain.
Building on the clinical studies quoted in the NICE guidelines, the National Council for Osteopathic Research (NCOR) and the British Osteopathic Association have conducted a standardised data collection (SDC) exercise. The report is available on the NCOR website at www.ncor.org.uk.
In the SDC study, data was collected on 1,630 new patient episodes in 2009. More than one- third (39%) of patients had a satisfactory resolution of symptoms and were discharged after their course of treatment. A further one-third (39%) of patients took the opportunity to return for “episodic care”, ie; preventive treatment at intervals, often called maintenance care. 10% were referred on for investigation or treatment. Less than 1% had not completed their course.
Simple patient-reported outcome scale was used which asked patients to tick which box best described their overall outcome at that date. The data provided useful statistics, with 74.3% of patients self-reporting as “improved”, “much improved” or “best ever” after the first treatment, rising to 80.7% after the final treatment and less than 1% in the “worse” category.
The costs associated with treating MSDs in terms of clinical staff time, increased waiting times for investigations, screening and increasing prescription costs, are substantial. Referral to secondary care and tracking patient progress leads to further cost, bureaucracy and burden on GP time.
Osteopathy can reduce the need for such interventions, providing a cost-effective alternative treatment route. The SDC exercise recorded the number of treatments until discharge or end of the initial course, as a representative measure of outcome as well as being useful for evaluating cost-benefit. The number of treatments recorded in the SCD ranged from 1 to 17 with a mean of 3.45 (SD=2.04) treatments to discharge. The mean of 3.45 treatments per course was unexpectedly low, but may be due to the follow-up period being two months (only allowing for four to five fortnightly appointments). The fact that relief of symptoms was rapid supports the validity of the data.
- Where can I get more information about osteopathy?
The Osteopathic Council (OCI)
Until 2008 two professional associations performed the duty of representing Osteopathy in Ireland; the Irish Osteopathic Association, and the Association of Osteopaths in Ireland. In September 2008, the two associations agreed to merge to form the Osteopathic Council of Ireland (OCI). The OCI has been incorporated and fully operational since January 2009.
The OCI has a strict membership policy that includes agreeing to abide by a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice that is aligned with other European Regulatory bodies for Osteopathy. As part of the membership criteria all members commit to Continuous Professional Development in order to maintain the highest standards.
The OCI currently has over 110 members nationally.
Source: Commissioning.GP gratefully acknowledges and thanks Kelston Chorley, Professional Development Consultant of the British Osteopathic Association, for his help in supplying the bulk of the information given here.
Osteopathic Council of Ireland, the Oisteopathic Institute UK, The General Osteopathic Council UK