British Osteopathic Association
The British Osteopathic Association (BOA) is an independent organisation representing osteopaths working both within the National Health Service (NHS) and privately in the United Kingdom. It is a not-for-profit organisation with an executive and a council which comprises ten practicing osteopaths and two lay members.
The BOA promotes understanding of the benefits of osteopathy and encourage its use on the NHS to government departments and to the general public, in particular its effectiveness in helping to reduce the amount of workplace absence through musculoskeletal problems. Osteopathy has a high patient satisfaction rate and patient safety record.
The BOA works to protect the principles and philosophies of osteopathy as a hands-on, drug-free therapy delivering low-cost, high-quality primary healthcare. Osteopathy is not a complementary or alternative health option – osteopaths are university trained, statutorily regulated, health professionals.
To qualify, an osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine and includes more than 1,000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques. By law, osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It is an offence for anyone to call themselves an osteopath if they are not registered. The British Medical Association’s guidance to general practitioners states that doctors can safely refer patients to osteopaths as practitioners have attained high levels of education and competence.