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A volunteer group of eight very experienced local acupuncturists have created a clinic offering 40 appointments a week to support the NHS staff with stress, exhaustion and pain caused by their extraordinary workload due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A call to assist the NHS went out in early April to acupuncturists and an initiative called ‘Acupuncture for NHS’ was formed which consisted of a number of volunteer acupuncturists. The collective of acupuncturists from all over the country fought for specialist insurance for the project and have developed first class safe practices and integrated a research project to run alongside the program. The very first clinic of its kind was setup in Brighton & Hove with a team of acupuncturists brought together by Cara Beckinsale & Soreh Levy. They also run a clinic at the Berkeley Clinic in London.

Co-incidentally acupuncturist Cara Beckinsale was awarded a scholarship by the British Acupuncture Council to Heilongjiang University in China in September. Her submission was based on the idea of integrating acupuncture into the NHS by working with trauma doctors and nurses to reduce stress levels.

Cara Beckinsale said: “It has been a long time passion of mine to integrate Chinese Medicine and the NHS, so when this opportunity presented itself I contacted likeminded colleagues in Brighton & Hove who already worked together and we quickly formed a clinical team.”

One of Cara’s clinics is The Float Spa, in Hove where owner Camille Pierson offered immediate support to the project. Camille sponsored the project by converting The Float Spa, which is currently closed due to coronavirus, into the clinic space for the project completely free of charge.

The uptake from NHS staff has been incredible - the first two weeks were fully booked within three days. The demand for the service has been proven in the uptake alone and the patient feedback is overwhelmingly positive. The need for this kind of service will continue long after lockdown as the realistic reverberating effects of Covid affect the NHS.

The project was set up on goodwill and small donations. We are currently seeking individuals or an organisation to fund costs for at least a year .

Camille Pierson said: “When Cara approached me with the idea, I jumped at the chance to be able to support the NHS teams who have worked so very hard throughout the current pandemic. The Float Spa is closed, so what better way to utilise the space until we are permitted to reopen. The Float Spa is a hub for wellness in the community, so this is an incredible way to give back.”

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