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 Daryl Herbert Wednesday, 11 July 2012 21:52 posted by Daryl Herbert

    Hi All

    Numbers on petition increasing all the time and I am getting lots of positive messages. We need all osteopaths to keep on signing up. If you been contacted by Bupa or not, if you have not been registered before out of choice or not eligible, it does not matter. The more names we have on our petition, the more names opting out the better. This shows that we are a united group, as much as is possible.
    We need everyone to send their letter of resignation from the new Bupa network for this Friday 13 and email Bupa on Friday.
    Please keep this pressure on, speak to all your colleagues asap
    Best regards

  • Comment Link Rebecca howell Wednesday, 11 July 2012 18:41 posted by Rebecca howell

    Is this chiropractors too? Or just aimed at osteopaths? Either way ridiculous! X

  • Comment Link An Osteopath Wednesday, 11 July 2012 18:00 posted by An Osteopath

    The press need to hear about all this! Anyone with any contacts or good at writing press releases?

  • Comment Link Joanna Young Wednesday, 11 July 2012 17:53 posted by Joanna Young

    Posting my Resignation letter tomorrow. Why have BUPA been so secretive over its planned fee capping? It tells the B.O.A that there won't be any fee capping but tells osteopaths who ask individually that fees are to be capped at £40/£30. Well, which is it? Small wonder that they've lost our trust. The BUPA brand is tarnished by this double dealing.

  • Comment Link Emma Roussac-Evans Wednesday, 11 July 2012 17:44 posted by Emma Roussac-Evans

    I posted my letter of resignation today. I wrote them a long list of points why I wasn't re-registering as a provider.
    I also pointed out that if it's auditing BUPA want, they should send questionnaires to THEIR MEMBERS themselves.
    Why should we do it? We aren't getting paid extra (if anything less haha!) for it.

  • Comment Link Andrew Pallas Wednesday, 11 July 2012 14:15 posted by Andrew Pallas

    Just for interest, here is a copy of the letter to BUPA.

    Dear Dr. MacDonald

    Re: Invitation to reregister as a BUPA provider

    Please note that I will not be accepting BUPA’s offer to reregister. Osteopathy is based on a set of principles, including the need to recognise the unity of the patient. As such, the imposition of a protocol based approach, to the treatment of named conditions, would prevent your members from receiving osteopathic healthcare.

    As an osteopath, I could not consider misleading patients by offering to treat them under BUPA’s new terms and conditions.

    If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.

    Respectfully yours

    Andrew Pallas

  • Comment Link Mary Bridger Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:20 posted by Mary Bridger

    I doubt that BUPA considers us as a profession worth bothering about in the big scheme of their corporate world, but it is worth a try. It seems a crazy situation that an associate (who is under the 5 yr acceptance rule and can keep keep to usual fee )and therfore cant see BUPA pts. will earn proportionally far more per PT.than a Bupa registered practitioner of 29 years experience seeing a PT under the new constraints!! Unfair but I guess not transgressing any employment laws,the joys of being self employed?

  • Comment Link Vinod Mahtani Wednesday, 11 July 2012 09:47 posted by Vinod Mahtani

    Well done for mobilising guys! Our professions autonomy is seriously under threat. I will not be told what to do and how much to charge by bureaucrats that wouldn't know an HVT from an HGV! Off to post my resignation letter now.

  • Comment Link Barry Jacobs Wednesday, 11 July 2012 09:17 posted by Barry Jacobs

    This campaign is excellent. Osteopathy is an honourable profession distinguished by its deep clinical knowledge base, rigorous intellectual discipline and far reaching capacity for diagnostic analysis. Influential organisations such as BUPA appear to have become increasingly, yet willingly ill-informed about us. Capitulation to this policy would be no better than an endorsement of their ruthless indifference and collusion in our own relegation to clinical mediocrity.

  • Comment Link Justine Knowles Wednesday, 11 July 2012 09:17 posted by Justine Knowles

    I run a small practice and can ill-afford the even slight loss of income from leaving Bupa but I have had enough of their bullying and disingenuous behaviour. I hope that a united front from the profession will allow us to renegotiate this contract, (not that we had any opportunity to negotiate it in the first place.) It is with regret that I will be resigning as a provider and I am missing no opportunity to tell patients why I have made this decision. Please, if you are wavering over this (and I can understand why) just think of how hard you work to do the best for your patients and fight for your right to continue to do so without the likes of Bupa interfering. ' Helping You Find Healthy' indeed. That's not even good English!


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