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Email from the Department of Health on European Regulation of Hypnotherapy

This was in response to a letter from myself, Mark Davis, to the Dept of Health regarding rumours circulating that there was some vague pending “regulation from Europe” about hypnotherapy.


From: <>
Date: 19 February 2013 14:32
Subject: Response to your Query : – Ref:DE00000753847 – European legislation regarding Healthcare Practitioners

Our ref: DE00000753847

Dear Mr Davis,

Thank you for your correspondence of 24 January to the Department of Health about European legislation regarding healthcare practitioners. I have been asked to reply.

The Department is not aware of any specific European legislation relevant to the issues you describe.

The Department’s view is that while statutory regulation is sometimes necessary where significant risks to users of services cannot be mitigated in other ways, it is not always the most proportionate or effective means of assuring the safe and effective care of service users.

There are existing voluntary registers of complementary medicine practitioners.  However, until recently, there has been no system that allows the public, employers or professionals to gauge whether they operate effectively and to high, or common, standards.

As you are aware, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 provides for the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) to quality assure voluntary registers of unregulated health care professionals and healthcare workers in the United Kingdom , social care workers in England , and certain students.  Only those registers that meet the standards set by the PSA will be accredited.

This will allow employers and people who use services to assure themselves that the practitioners they appoint or contract with meet high standards of training, conduct and competence, and at all times apply high ethical standards to their work, without placing an undue regulatory burden on practitioners or taxpayers.

I hope this reply is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Spencer
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health

About the author | Mark R. Davis

Principal and Director of The UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist – with practices in Central and North London. Personal website at