Specialist nurses and manual lymphatic drainage therapy practitioners

When our customers need to see a specialist nurse or manual lymphatic drainage therapy (MLD) practitioner, we offer them a choice of Bupa recognised professionals.

If you'd like to join the network, find out more about the benefits it could bring to you and the recognition criteria below.

What we offer you

Bupa recognition can help you build and promote your practice. The benefits include:

  • access to a large share of the health insurance market
  • raising your profile through your personal page on Finder, our online directory of Bupa recognised healthcare professionals and healthcare services, which is used by our customers, GPs and the public and receives 110,000 visits a week
  • access to our Providers Online website and other online resources to make running your private practice simple and straightforward

Entry criteria

Each nurse and therapist needs to be recognised individually. To become Bupa recognised, specialist nurses and MLD practitioners need to:

  • hold accreditation with the professional bodies relative to your speciality:
    • Specialist Nurses - Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
    • MLD Practitioner - Manual Lymphatic Drainage UK (MLD UK)

  • have a clean record with the regulatory body. If you’ve previously undergone hearings or investigations we will need further information to process your application (please see the additional information section below which explains what we need to consider your application)
  • have a minimum of five years’ post qualification experience in full time practice if a specialist nurse, or a minimum of five years’ post qualification experience in full time practice if a MLD practitioner, or be registered with one of the following bodies in addition to MLD UK: NMC, Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or General Medical Council (GMC) with five years’ experience as a registered nurse, chartered physiotherapist or medical practitioner
  • have two Bupa recognised consultants who refer patients to you and are willing to act as referees
  • have current indemnity insurance up to the amount advised by your professional or regulatory body, and attach a copy of your insurance certificate to your application
  • have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate (UK, Wales and Channel Islands) and the appropriate child or adult barring list check relevant to the patients being treated. An AccessNI enhanced certificate or an AccessNI basic if self employed (Northern Ireland), or a Disclosure Scotland enhanced disclosure or Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) (Scotland) record check that was completed within the three years before applying for Bupa recognition

You’ll also need to supply photographic proof of identity. The proof of identity form (pdf, 33kb) explains which documents you can use. Each nurse and therapist needs to be recognised individually.

Additional information:

  • If you’ve previously undergone investigations or hearings with any of your professional bodies please attach a copy of any correspondence with them about the investigation in step 2.
  • If you’ve told us about any declarations, convictions or previous suspensions please attach a copy of investigation case notes and a covering letter explaining the circumstances in step 2.

Before you apply

You can apply for Bupa recognition online in three simple steps which should take less than an hour, depending on the complexity of your practice.

Before you apply, take a look at our Questions and Answers page where you can find more information about becoming Bupa recognised.

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Please review the terms and conditions

If you apply for Bupa recognition, we’ll take it that you agree to the terms and conditions for joining the Bupa Nurse Specialist or MLD Therapy Network  (PDF, 0.2MB).

Confidentiality guidelines

We'll only use the information that you submit to us as part of this process for the purposes of this application, and in our ongoing relationship in the event that you become Bupa recognised.

We've indicated in the application form what information may be shared with Bupa customers, on our website and through other media.

You have the opportunity to give your permission for this as you complete the application form.

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Gather the documents you need

You’ll find it easier to complete your application if you have the following information to hand:

name and address of your therapy room(s)

a copy of your specialist nursing qualification relevant to the specialty in which you are requesting Bupa recognition if you are a specialist nurse

the name, Bupa Provider Number and contact details for two Bupa recognised consultants acting as referees for you

a copy of your enhanced DBS certificate, AccessNI enhanced certificate, Access NI Basic if self employed or Disclosure Scotland enhanced disclosure or Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) record check

a copy of your current indemnity insurance certificate

your photographic proof of identity and completed Proof of Identity form


Apply online

We’ll send you an on screen message to confirm we’ve received your completed application. Once we’ve received your application and supporting documents, we’ll process them. We aim to get back to you within five working days, but in busy periods it may take longer.

Your recognition begins on the day you are added to Bupa’s list of recognised therapists, so please don’t start treating Bupa customers until you’ve received an email confirming that your application for Bupa recognition is complete. We’re unable to fund any services you provide to Bupa patients before that.

In response to helpful feedback from consultants and therapists, we’re introducing a new digital process which will make applying for Bupa recognition quicker and easier. While we do this, we’re not progressing new applications for a short period. Please check back for further updates as they will be published here. Thank you for your patience.

Ways to get in touch…

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