A Letter from Jane to all our members

President of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists
E-mail: president@nimh.org.uk

October 2009



Dear Patient, Customer, Colleague or Friend

I am writing to you on a matter of the utmost importance. A matter that may affect your ability to buy herbal medicines in the future. It may come as a surprise to you to know that not all herbalists are qualified and nor are they regulated! Of course, all NIMH practitioners are, and I have worked hard with various national forum and working groups to ensure that medical herbalists practice at the same high levels you would expect from any healthcare practitioner.

The Department of Health has now published a Consultation Document on the regulation of herbalists. In order to protect your access to professional herbal treatment, and to allow people to have the choice to use herbal medicine, it is essential that as many of us as possible respond positively stating that we want herbalists to be regulated. I have explained the reasons for this in more depth here but in essence, if herbalists are regulated they will still be able to provide a wide range of herbal medicines.

The Consultation Document is complex and not easy to understand, so we have published our response to it on our website. On the website we have also posted a couple of sample letters which you could use if you wish to do so - a sample letter to your MP, a personal reply to DoH and a professional reply to DoH – though in order for your response to really count you should ‘personalise’ it in some way so that it is not an exact copy. Your response may not be counted if it is seen to be a standard reproduced letter.

As a frequent user of herbal medicine, I am urging you to write to the Department of Health immediately. Responses must be in by the 16th November to be valid, so time is of the essence. Your letter should be sent to:

AHMTCM Consultation Team
Department of Health

Room 2 N09

Quarry House

Quarry Hill

Leeds LS2 7UE

When you write your letter I suggest that you put the phrase ‘cc Constituency MP’, and then send a copy to your own MP, at the same time as you send your response to the Department of Health. Your can find your MP by clicking here or, if you wish to do so you can contact the National Institute of Medical Herbalists on 01392 426022 and we will help you to find this information.

I know you have many calls on your time but if we want to protect the right for ourselves and our families to access herbal medicine treatment then we must act – I know that us herbalists can’t do this on our own – we need you to speak for us.

Thank you so much.

Jane Gray