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There is no doubt that the past year has been challenging. Like many professions, chiropractic has been impacted by the global pandemic, limiting chiropractors’ ability to treat patients and, for many, forcing a change in working practices.

Our new Registrant Survey 2020 explores the views and perceptions of registrants across a range of issues, looks at the extent the profession has been affected by COVID-19 and highlights some of the challenges that chiropractors have faced over the past 12 months.

For the majority of registrants working in clinical practice, the pandemic has changed the nature of their practice. Despite many registrants reporting an increase in demand for their services, three quarters of respondents report seeing fewer patients. This has impacted their practices financially.

However, many in the profession have adapted in order to continue treating patients safely. This includes changing practice layouts and the length of appointments and introducing additional hygiene and infection control procedures. A quarter of survey respondents (23%) said they had been undertaking telehealth appointments or consultations with patients.

Opportunities for the profession

Despite the challenging year we have all faced, the research highlights that many registrants feel positive about the future. Half (50%) of respondents feel optimistic about the future of the profession, citing the reputation of chiropractic and its status within the wider healthcare system as the main reasons for optimism.

Registrants are ready to embrace the opportunities for the profession, including growing demand for services due to the increase in homeworking and an ageing population. Many felt there had also been an increase in demand due to patients having limited access to GPs for musculoskeletal problems. Some respondents see chiropractors playing a role within the healthcare system by taking pressure off NHS services.

However, in order to realise these opportunities, it is important that we all continue to improve understanding of chiropractic amongst patients and other healthcare professionals. This includes increasing awareness about what conditions chiropractors can treat, qualification requirements and that the profession is regulated.

It is clear from the research that many registrants recognise the need to develop closer working relationships with local healthcare professionals in order to aid integration into the wider healthcare system and ultimately deliver improved patient outcomes.

To support greater collaborative working, GCC registrants recently shared their experiences of working alongside other health professionals to deliver patient care. Their accounts offer advice and best practice recommendations to help foster relationships with other health professionals. Learn more here.


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