Bupa Osteopaths

Bupa Changes - Osteopath Information

What does it mean?



Late this April, Bupa recognised providers received a letter, inviting them to join a new Osteopath & Chiropractors Network. The only way to continue their recognition is to join this network, but the new terms & conditions will fundamentally change the relationship, not only between the insurer & the practitioner but also between the practitioner and their insured patients.

Current Petition Count

Osteopaths signed petition:
Osteopaths opted out of the new Bupa Osteopathy Network:
Patients signed petition:

Bones of Contention

The main problems with the new terms & conditions relate to

(a) Fees
(b) Extra administration
(c) Loss of professional autonomy

Although the issue of fees seems to be a problem primarily in areas of the country where it is more expensive to practice, the others affect ALL osteopaths, regardless of where they work.


Under the new network, Bupa are offering many osteopaths lower fees to treat their members than they are paying at present. Nearly half of all UK osteopaths practice in London & the Southeast, where both the cost of living & running a practice are much greater than in other regions of the UK. For this reason, osteopathic fees tend to be higher in these areas than in other areas of the country. It is in these areas that the greatest discrepancy seems to be occurring between what osteopaths are charging & what Bupa is prepared to offer.

Not only that, but patients will not be allowed to “top up” the difference between what an osteopath charges & that covered by Bupa. They are also taking control of if, and when, osteopathic fees will increase & by how much.

Extra administration

Bupa will require a report twice a year from each member of the new network that is, in effect, a written clinical audit of seven different aspects of your practice. Even more time-consuming will be, on demand, providing them with clinical outcome data. This will involve giving assessment questionnaires to every patient and compiling the data – a major research project in itself.

Loss of professional autonomy

Osteopaths will not be allowed to decide for themselves what treatment each patient needs, but agree to follow predetermined treatment protocols – “Bupa published care pathways”. You will also be required to give Bupa access to your patient records.

Although Bupa claim that they do not intend to interfere in clinical decision-making, the GOsC has raised concerns with Bupa about whether complying with these terms & conditions could potentially lead to a breach of the Standards of Practice (OPS). See the “Latest News” page for more information.

The full version of the Terms & Conditions for joining the Bupa network are available from their website here.

and an account of the potential impact of these on your practice can be downloaded from here.


What can I do about it?

1. If you are an osteopath please show your support by joining our online petition:


2. Encourage the BOA in its efforts to negotiate with Bupa Bupa by participating in their national survey of osteopaths’ opinions about the Bupa Osteopathic Network. It is open to ALL osteopaths that practice in the UK. See the “Latest News” page on how to do this

3. Write to your patients informing them of the situation & encouraging them to complain to Bupa (especially those in corporate schemes).

4. Spread the word. Talk about this issue to colleagues, send the address of this website to them by e-mail, Facebook, Tweet or use the add-this link at the top of the page.

5. Copy all the code in the box below and get your website manager to add it to a html page on your site. This will encourage your patients to visit this site:

6. Submit a comment to the Competition Commission about Bupa’s behaviour & how it is limiting patient choice. See the “Latest News” page on how to do this

7. Consider declining, or resigning from, the new Bupa Osteopathy Network as so many of your colleagues already have. See the “Latest News” about the massive response to “Bupa Resignation Day”


Writing to Patients

Bupa is most likely to listen to its policyholders as, after all, they are the ones who pay the premiums. That is why it is essential that we contact all our patients who have Bupa cover. Patients on corporate schemes, which provide a large chunk of Bupa’s income, could get the person who administers the health insurance involved. A few corporate schemes backing us would really make Bupa think again. A draft letter to patients is available to download from here.

A draft letter of complaint that can be adapted by each patient can be downloaded from here.

A poster for your waiting room, that can also be used as a flyer, can be downloaded from here.


Declining or Resigning

Whilst it is up to each practitioner to decide for themselves whether to join (or remain in) the new network, many osteopaths feel so strongly about these issues that they believe that it is not in the best interests of their patients to remain as Bupa “recognised providers” .A substantial number of osteopaths resigned en masse on “Bupa Resignation Day” on Friday 13th July 2012, and many more have joined them since. See the “Latest News” page for more information

Should you decide to join them, the most effective way of doing this is in writing to the address below. However, it is important that your letter includes an account of your reasons for resigning.


Dr Natalie-Jane MacDonald
Medical Director
BUPA Health & Wellbeing UK
Willow House
TW18 3DZ

or you can e-mail
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you, in anticipation, for your support of this protest.


  • Comment Link Enda Butler Friday, 13 July 2012 14:40 posted by Enda Butler

    Hopefully, this is the start of the body of Osteopaths finally working as a unit! Well done, Daryl and Gareth, for all your work!

  • Comment Link anon Friday, 13 July 2012 14:16 posted by anon

    "BUPA's underlying profits were up 9% to £465m 2010 Ray King, chief executive of Bupa, said he hoped UK customer numbers would stabilise in 2011." BBC
    How interesting

  • Comment Link Alan Burke Friday, 13 July 2012 14:09 posted by Alan Burke

    Resigned. Well done to the guy's for getting this up and running.

  • Comment Link David Seed Friday, 13 July 2012 13:51 posted by David Seed

    Just completed what turned out to be a rather long resignation letter! A cathartic process I'm sure you all agree.
    I applaud Daryl, Gareth and all of you who have signed the petition and resigned from 'The Network'.

  • Comment Link Sophie Bevin Friday, 13 July 2012 13:29 posted by Sophie Bevin

    I'm really glad to see us Osteopaths working together for a change, good show of solidarity, all. We're much more influential as a whole! Congrats to Daryl for a really facilitative website too. I have emailed them to ask them to think whether they really want to alienate a whole profession....

  • Comment Link Bill Ferguson Friday, 13 July 2012 13:10 posted by Bill Ferguson

    Email sent to [email protected] with link to "Osteopaths say Bye Bye Bupa"

  • Comment Link anon Friday, 13 July 2012 12:53 posted by anon

    Come on. Let's get 1000 of us signing the petition. That would be something.

  • Comment Link Tessa Paget Daniels Friday, 13 July 2012 12:49 posted by Tessa Paget Daniels

    I have resigned from BUPA today as I want to give patients the best possible service. This would be impossible under BUPA's draconian rules. Well done to everyone else who has resigned, we are a Triumph of Osteopaths!!

  • Comment Link Sharon Procter Friday, 13 July 2012 12:48 posted by Sharon Procter

    I have formally resigned from Bupa!
    Thankyou once again to Daryl and Gareth for coordinating
    this campaign, for their time and for any expenses incurred in
    setting up this website, etc. I would be happy to make a contribution towards this. Very nice/welcome comment made by Brian Carter, Chiropractor, it was good to hear your view/stance on this.

  • Comment Link Alison Martin Friday, 13 July 2012 12:37 posted by Alison Martin

    Just resigned, sent the e-mail with cc to the chief exec.


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