ACP Chair writes to Ben Gummer at the Department of Health

ACP Chair Heather Stewart has written to Ben Gummer at the Department of Health about the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive (2005), thanking him for responses to members reassuring them that the Department of Health recognises the importance of the work carried out by child psychotherapists and has no plans to stop this valuable service being available on the NHS. She highlighted the downgrading of many senior specialist posts within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and explains that many members are concerned that the service they offer to children has been reduced and or has suffered cuts.

She also specifically focused on the Department of Health “reviewing” the ACP’s listing in the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive. She clarifies in her letter that the ACP as an association sets and assures high standards for child and adolescent psychotherapists and it has been at the heart of this profession within Europe and that the ACP was first put on this Statute in 1991.  

She also states that the ACP’s role in being on this EU statute is to ensure that the safety of children is not compromised by professionals claiming to have specialist training, the equivalent of the ACP’s, but without proper checks and that it also ensures that children get the highest quality service. She accepts that the ACP supports the desire to make it easier for qualified professionals to practise their professions across Europe but wants to establish that there are appropriate safeguards in place to ensure the safety of children and adolescents in treatment. She argues that the ACP is best placed to provide such checks.  

She adds that "the Association of Child Psychotherapists has been at the vanguard of providing specialist treatment for children with complex difficulties. Its doctoral level training is commissioned by NHS England, so it is the standard bearer for child and adolescent psychotherapy". Members can read the full letter here






The letter from the ACP Chair to Ben Gummer

I would like to thank our chair, Heather Stewart, for writing such a  well argued and cogent letter to the minister on behalf of the members about how it is imperative that the ACP be allowed to remain as a competent authority for the mutual recognition of professions in Europe.

We need to keep this pressure up and if we do not get a satisfactory resonse, perhaps we could be given a form letter for members to send to their  own MP's to raise the issue in a wider context. I know some members helpfully did this before but we may need to increase the response this time.


with thanks,

Mary Walker