Bupa Osteopaths

Bupa Changes - Patient Information

What’s the Problem?



In April this year, Bupa announced that they are changing the arrangements for osteopaths who treat members of Bupa. The conditions in the new contract are so onerous, thatan increasing number of osteopaths are withdrawing from offering consultations under Bupa cover.

Even if you are currently covered for treatment by your own osteopath under Bupa, there is no guarantee that this will continue and the number of osteopaths accepting Bupa insurance in your area may well be severely reduced.

Bupa’s new terms & conditions will mean that, in future, you may not be able to choose the osteopath you wish to see.


Current Petition Count

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

So why is this happening?

There are several areas that these changes affect…


Bupa is offering to pay below the present fee scales for many osteopaths, especially in the London & the Southeast where the costs of running a practice are higher. They are also preventing patients from making up the difference between their present osteopath’s fees & what Bupa is prepared to pay – i.e. they are not allowing patients to “top up” the fees.


The new requirements will mean a massive increase in the amount of time that your osteopath has to spend in filling in forms for Bupa about your claim, your diagnosis, the treatment that you receive & your response to that treatment. This will cut down the time your osteopath has to do what they do best – treating patients such as yourself.


Osteopaths treat patients as individuals. Although your osteopath may diagnose that you have a particular problem, the treatment they provide to each patient is as unique as you are. We believe that your osteopath, having taken a case history and performed an examination, is in the best position to decide the treatment that you need. Without knowing you or ever having seen you as a patient, Bupa is trying to dictate what treatment your osteopath is allowed to give you.

No osteopath wants to stop providing treatment under your cover, but many feel that these changes make it impossible for them to give you the care you need.

What can you do to help?

If either you, or a member of your family, have benefited from osteopathic treatment or you feel that you may need our help in the future, there are three ways you can help…

1. Submit your name and email address to our petition


2. Spread the word to other Bupa members by drawing their attention to this problem. Talk about it. Like, tweet or share this page using the options at the top of the page. Send the address of this website to them via email and let people know what you think using the comments at the bottom.

3. Complain about this directly to Bupa. If they get sufficient negative feedback from their members, they may well withdraw these changes. If you are a member of a corporate scheme, we would also encourage you to contact the person who deals with health insurance matters at your place of work.

4. Have a look at, and maybe join in with, the comments on other websites, such as the excellent Private Patients Forum. www.privatepatientsforum.org

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



You can complain to Bupa…

1. By Letter

The best way is in WRITING to

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

2. Online

You can download a sample letter, that you can adapt, from

Or by e-mail to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or via their website

3. By Phone

or on the phone
0845 609 0111

Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 8am to 6pm

If you are a member of a corporate scheme, we would encourage you to contact the person who deals with health insurance matters at your place of work.


  • Comment Link John Collison Tuesday, 14 August 2012 11:48 posted by John Collison

    Although I suspect that there may be a few people who share Matthew jones's opinion, I believe he's missing the point. All BUPA clients pay significant fees to BUPA for quality treatment. Should we not have heard about these changes from them. There is a possibility that established osteopathy practices will have sufficient Non-BUPA clients to be able to opt out of this scheme and only new practices with relatively inexperienced practitioners remaining, so I could be paying for potentially second rate treatment; not what I signed-up for. I think I should have been given the option to top-up what BUPA offer, are they so ashamed of the amount they are prepared to pay, as to not want to publish these figures?

  • Comment Link Gareth Butler Tuesday, 14 August 2012 01:23 posted by Gareth Butler

    Re: Matthew Jones Comment

    Firstly, although you are perfectly entitled to your opinions and to share them in this forum, your statement that “many osteopaths abuse the private healthcare system” is potentially libellous.

    If this is a wild accusation, then I think it would be a good idea if you publicly withdrew it or requested the webmaster to delete your comment all together. Whatever you decide, I suggest you do it quickly.

    If it is not, then I would strongly encourage you to immediately report any evidence you have of fraudulent activity not only to the police, but also to make a specific complaint to the General Osteopathic Council – our professional register (tel. 0207-357 6655). This is, quite rightly, regarded as a serious contravention of the strict regulations under which osteopaths practice and could lead to an osteopath being struck off (and therefore no longer able to practice in the UK). I am encouraging you to do this as we cannot have such practitioners bringing our profession into disrepute.

    PS: By the way, you don’t by any chance work for Bupa?

  • Comment Link Matthew Jones Thursday, 09 August 2012 18:25 posted by Matthew Jones

    This is actually going to prove beneficial to ALL patients in the long run. It is naive to ignore the fact that many osteopaths abuse the private healthcare system. This leads to higher premiums for private patients, leads to less uptake of private healthcare and so places more strain on the already overloaded NHS. By making the claiming process a little more rigid, Bupa will eradicate false claims and ultimately make private healthcare more affordable for all.

  • Comment Link Maire Murphy Sunday, 05 August 2012 19:42 posted by Maire Murphy

    They are doing the same with Podiatrists and with a lot of Medical Consultants also. It's what is known as "Managed Care" in the USA and it hasn't worked well there.

  • Comment Link Bart Shonkser Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:31 posted by Bart Shonkser

    In a nutsell:

    BUPA are currently in the process of changing the way they provide for patients consulting many types of healthcare professionals, including OSTEOPATHS.

    In the future you, the patient (and policy holder), will no longer be able to see the Osteopath of your choice unless that Osteopath has signed up to the new BUPA OSTEOPATHS NETWORK CONTRACT which includes restrictive terms and conditions, onerous administration / paperwork and heavily capped fees (less than the price of a decent haircut!!!). BUPA are looking to pay osteopaths the same fee country wide, even in Central London where overheads for running a clinic are at their highest. Furthermore, patients will not be allowed to top up any short fall in session fees.

    Many OSTEOPATHS find the terms and conditions and fee structure of the proposed new contract untenable and much to their regret will be forced to resign as BUPA providers UNLESS the proposed contract and fee structure is radically changed. This is only likely to happen if patients and policyholders complain strongly to BUPA.

  • Comment Link Sylvia walker Thursday, 12 July 2012 20:57 posted by Sylvia walker

    Ridiculous -BUPA are trying to attack a "soft touch"
    Were the really big money is wasted is with the big Consultants who charge £200 + for numerous follow up consultation after an operation ad nauseum when they are totally unessential.This is were the big money is wasted but top consultants are too powerful for BUPA to discipline so they are attempting to show that they are controlling costs - but is a joke!!

  • Comment Link Rob Wilson Thursday, 12 July 2012 16:56 posted by Rob Wilson

    As an IFA I think people should contact their employers and make them aware of what is happening. If you have individual or group cover you can always move your cover elsewhere. (Assuming you are in good health) If enough people move then BUPA will be forced to think again.

  • Comment Link J M Sweetman Thursday, 12 July 2012 13:29 posted by J M Sweetman

    My wife and I have recently needed treatment by an osteopath for the first time in our lives.

    We have had excellent treatment, and been "sorted" with the minimum of fuss, with very good explanation of what was wrong. In my case a trapped muscle . nerve has been freed after 18 months, and my wife's hips are already noticably improved.

    I am appaulled that BUPA are endeavouring to imposea 20% cut in fees they ay are prepared to pay, I consider that what our local osteopath charges is a very fair fee, and in no way excessive.

  • Comment Link M Lingard Wednesday, 11 July 2012 00:58 posted by M Lingard

    Nothing changes with BUPA , 30 years ago I trained as an osteopath, used to have BUPA insurance but found they didn't cover osteopathy, homoeopathy or any other therapy my wife and I used so I ended my relation with them. Perhaps BUPA is not interested in health promotion and disease prevention? I cannot imagine why not as this would reduce claims, reduced claims would allow lower premiums, lower premiums would give them a competitive edge. Perhaps BUPA is controlled by consultants?

  • Comment Link Anon Thursday, 05 July 2012 18:51 posted by Anon

    BUPA are making a big mistake if they think they are going to make themselves more popular with the public by under valuing Osteopaths. The Osteopath I am seeing the the moment has already told me he cannot work to the new contract proposed by BUPA and will be resigning as a BUPA provider unless the contract and fees are changed. He has helped me more in 5 sessions than any of the doctors, physios or specialists I have seen over the past two years!! IF BUPA succeed in pushing him and colleagues like him out I shall be telling all my friends what a rough deal they get with BUPA.


Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.