Chiropractic Quality Standards
The Royal College of Chiropractors is an independent professional body with the remit of raising standards of chiropractic care within the UK. The Royal College works towards this goal by guiding research and education, and liaising with the NHS and other medical professions.
Although their means are slightly different, the common aim of promoting excellence makes it interesting to explore how Sure Health compares to those standards set by the Royal College.
The Royal College of Chiropractors have released a set of quality standard information sheets that outline what patients should expect from chiropractors when they have low back pain or neck pain.
You can read and download chiropractic quality standards here.
While the Quality Standards are an admirable attempt to homogenise the care offered by chiropractors for lower back pain and neck pain, the standards fall some way short of those we aspire to at Sure Health.
For example, three days is a very long time to wait for an appointment if you are in pain and paying privately. With this in mind, Sure Health Chiropractic strive to offer same day appointments in all but the most exceptional circumstances. We are open six days a week, evenings and early mornings, as well as offering emergency appointments when needed, albeit at extra cost.
Similarly, rather than waiting two weeks to review your condition, Sure Health review and reassess at each visit. This takes our clinicians extra time, but ensures no time is wasted in achieving the best outcome for our patients.
Regarding examination and diagnostics, the Quality Standards put a significant amount of emphasis on establishing the effect of pain on every day activities. This is consistent with the idea that pain is not just a physical phenomenon but can affect day-to-day activities in other ways as well, such as apprehension and fear-avoidance.
At Sure Health Chiropractic, one of the biggest differentiators between us and the competition is how we take a holistic approach to achieving patient goals. It might be that you would like to climb a mountain for the first time, or just to do the dishes without pain, we’ll do everything we can to help. And that entails more than just manual therapy.
Our chiropractors will advise you of home exercises, specific to your daily activities, to help build resilience and will provide advice about how to adapt what you do and how you do it to best avoid problems.
It is very important to us that people leave our clinic feeling empowered and able, not afraid and dependant on us for treatment.
It is reassuring to see the Royal College of Chiropractors dedicate a whole page of their Quality Standards to patient explanations. Explaining the results of assessment, likely causes of their problem, the prognosis and proposed treatment methods is the least anybody should expect from any medical professional, not just chiropractors.
The RCC expand on the patient explanation section by emphasising discussion of a plan of care and the likely outcomes with and without treatment. This again should apply to all medical professionals.
The only Quality Standard where we fall short is the suggestion that GPs receive a discharge report for all patients attending the practice. This is, unfortunately, just too burdensome given the number of people that attend the practice.