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Why so many professional bodies?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by ProspectivePod, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. ProspectivePod

    ProspectivePod Active Member


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    Hi everyone,

    Wondering if anyone on here could give me an idea as to why podiatry (at least in the UK) has so many professional bodies?

    Many professions seem to have 1, 2 at the most yet we have 4 (that I'm aware of according to the HCPC). There are roughly 40000 physiotherapists and only one professional body for them, the CSP. Yet there are roughly 12000 podiatrists and 4 professional bodies.

    - The Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists
    - The British Chiropody and Podiatry Association
    - The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
    - The Alliance of Private Sector Chiropody and Podiatry Practitioners

    Just something that's always puzzled me and couldn't find an answer for. Thought maybe someone in the know had an idea.

    If this question has been asked before feel free to lock this thread and direct me to any useful posts, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Ashley
     
  2. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Hi Ashley

    Add to those a plethora of FHP groups! The reasons are largely historical and are intermixed with registration - very complex! However, there used to be more and the reason that those did not amalgamate was due to personal jealousies of the leading lights of the time. Personalities in certain groups demand dominance in all things and are unable to compromise due to stupidity rather than 'A type male' outlook. Having said that, a certain amount of choice is a good thing provided the groups come together for the greater good. Please see my posting on the Parliamentary Act which has not been challenged. You will find that we really are a pretty pathetic lot.

    All the best

    Bill Liggins
     
  3. ProspectivePod

    ProspectivePod Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Bill, helpful as always. I totally agree with your point regarding choice it's just a shame that there's so much disharmony with in a profession that for all intents and purposes is rather small. I'm sure I'm not the only one who hopes for a little unification.

    Will definitely check up regarding the parliament act, sure will make for an interesting read. Just a shame politics and personalities get in the way of progress.

    Thanks,
    Ashley
     
  4. J M Brown

    J M Brown Member

    Hello Ashley
    As Bill Liggins says the reasons for the number of professional bodies for podiatry are largely historic and relate to the various training routes that were followed prior to the creation of the Health and Care Professions Council.
    I am bound to say that the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists is the largest organisation and the one that has always represented the registered profession. Unlike the other organisations we do not represent Foot Health Practitioners.
    I would agree that in an ideal world four organisations is too many, but we have co-operated with the Institute on various issues of common interest.
    Best wishes
    Joanna Brown
    Chief Executive SCP
     
  5. J M Brown

    J M Brown Member

    Hello Ashley
    As Bill Liggins says the reasons for the number of professional bodies for podiatry are largely historic and relate to the various training routes that were followed prior to the creation of the Health and Care Professions Council.
    I am bound to say that the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists is the largest organisation and the one that has always represented the registered profession. Unlike the other organisations we do not represent Foot Health Practitioners.
    I would agree that in an ideal world four organisations is too many, but we have co-operated with the Institute on various issues of common interest.
    Best wishes
    Joanna Brown
    Chief Executive SCP
     
  6. Doogle

    Doogle Active Member

    But my friend said that SMAE also have registered, so you`re not the "one` that has always represented them. You also have unregstered foot care asssistants who i am at uni with who do private work, whats the difference.
     
  7. J M Brown

    J M Brown Member

    Hi Doogle
    SMAE trained chiropodists were only able to become registered under the "grandparenting" arrangements when the HCPC was established, so relatively recently. The SCP does welcome grandparented chiropodists and podiatrists into membership.
    We do indeed have podiatry assistants in associate membership. Unlike FHPs who work independently podiatry assistants are expected to work under supervision, we do not agree with them working independently.
    Joanna
     
  8. Doogle

    Doogle Active Member

    No i know of some pods who have left your society beccause they didnt agree with having unregistere in your society. They werenot granparented they did a dgree and joined SAME and another one that i cant remember. i think to have a choice of who you want is good. also assistants do home visits by themselves, i dont think that is supervised do you???
     
  9. ProspectivePod

    ProspectivePod Active Member

    Thank you for your reply Joanna it is very much appreciated.
    I've always been led to believe that the podiatry assistants are primarily NHS based and work under the supervision of the podiatrist so can't formulate management plans/diagnose etc... please correct me if I am wrong? And whilst I have heard that some do work independently privately outside of NHS its not condoned by either the NHS or the SCP. I do think something more needs to be done regarding this myself but hopefully in time something can be achieved.

    I've always been given the impression that the SCP is the largest, accrediting podiatry degrees etc and the fact they don't represent FHPs is a real plus atleast imo as a soon to be student podiatrist I feel it is important that one organisation out of four represent the interests of podiatrists.

    Grandparenting is another topic entirely and one I never really understood myself but I'm sure over time I'll understand why it happened and what ramifications it has had, good and bad.

    Thanks everyone, still thinks its silly there are 4 organisations though :p Perhaps in the future we'll have a profession united by one organisation that represents the interests of ALL podiatrists. That would be nice in an ideal world. One can dream lol

    Ashley
     
  10. Hi Joanna

    Just out of interest, will the Society continue to offer full membership to podiatrists who decide not to register with the HCPC in future? I am thinking of those predominately in private practice.

    Best wishes

    Mark
     
  11. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Hi Ashley

    Unfortunately, my friend Joanne (who obviously has an interest) is rather misleading you when she infers that only the Society represents registered chiropodists/podiatrists. In fact the British Association of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (part of the SMAE organisation), the Institute and I believe other bodies have always had registered members. Overall, the BACP is the largest and tends to support private practitioners, where the Society certainly supports more NHS practitioners than any other. None of the professional bodies, most certainly not the Society accredit degrees. You will find the universities - who are independent degree awarding bodies - most indignant at such a suggestion. You are mistaken when you state that the Society does not support other, non-registered practitioners, and if anybody tells you that NHS employed assistants don't carry out private practice, then ask them from where they derive that information!

    Sadly, until everyone matures sufficiently to agree to disagree on minor matters and meet under one overarching body to agree major matters then there will be no harmony and that has been the case throughout my working life.

    All the best

    Bill Liggins
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  12. ProspectivePod

    ProspectivePod Active Member

    Hi Bill,

    I'm fully aware some podiatry assistants work privately and independently I've just always been led to believe from previous lines of communication that neither the SCP or NHS support independent working of them. I'm not sure about FHP's I can only state what I've been told regarding podiatry assistants.

    Accreditation wise on my uni website and others it says accreditation SCP and HCPC. Going even further upon reading it says that the college of podiatry is responsible for accreditation of podiatry degrees every 5 years to ensure programme validity etc and that the course satisfies SCP standards for its members so that students can register with the SCP.

    This is directly from a university website so either they do accredit the podiatry degrees or theyve used incorrect words and mean validated etc.

    Admittedly I don't know much about what each organisation offers, how that differs amongst each organisation and their good and bad points. But the above that I stated was simply based upon information I've heard directly or read so I don't know perhaps I've been mislead or something.

    Many thanks,
    Ashley
     
  13. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Hi Ashley

    Probably just a matter of wording. The point is that the universities are independent organisations who are responsible for academic awards, whoever might agree/accredit/validate/be satisfied with the programme. I imagine that most, if not all the organisations are satisfied with the current course and thus 'validate' them to prospective members. This is different to the 'old days' when the Society as a professional body was responsible to the old HCP for accrediting various colleges' awards ie. any course was unacceptable for State Registration unless the Society agreed it. The important point is that now the HCPC recognise the university courses and will appoint inspectors prior to a pod course being agreed. For example the BCPA (SMAE) run a local anaesthetic course validated and recognised by the HCPC.

    As far as independent working by Pod Assistant is concerned, well, various people/bodies may not 'support' them so doing but they still do so. The better questions might be how many have been expelled for so doing, and if not why not? FHPs are different in that they, like it or not, are independent and can largely do what they want - most if not all are insured. It's educational to read the long running saga of Mark Russell who has challenged the HCPC on the issue.

    The universities traditionally have employed only members of the Society as teachers, so there is a massive bias against the other bodies. At least some of the schools, Southampton being one, absolutely refuse to allow any of the other bodies access to their students even for an hour, to offer the advantages that their organisations can offer. Thus there is a horrendously incestuous relationship between the Society and the schools. Whether this could be described as corrupt or immoral, I really couldn't say but it is interesting to research the percentage of qualifying students joining the Society as against all the other bodies put together. I believe it is something in the order of 99%. As I said in a previous posting - pathetic, but sadly they, we, are.

    Bill Liggins
     
  14. ProspectivePod

    ProspectivePod Active Member

    Thanks Bill,
    I agree with your points particularly regarding podiatry assistants. More needs to be done to address the issue I feel whether it will be done I'm unsure to be honest.

    That's an interesting point regarding students and the SCP. The SCP were actually mentioned at my interview and funnily enough I'm going to Southampton in September to start my podiatry degree. Maybe that's why I'm most aware of them as opposed to other institutions. Really looking forward to it though.

    I'm not sure what other organisations offer, would have to have a look but perhaps the SCP has such a high student membership due to it being free?

    Thanks Bill for the interesting points as always :)
    Ashley
     
  15. Ashley

    There is currently no other professional body in the UK that offers the podiatrist anything like the range of services that the Society does. Nor do they - apart from the Institute - have a democratically elected Council made up from the ranks of membership, nor do they have access to the established routes to the Department of Health and Ministers that the Society presently enjoys. That is not to say the Society is without faults - far from it. But it is worth remembering that the organisation is no more than a collective body of colleagues as opposed to the HCPC which is no more than a QUANGO - and yet is often considered to be a 'professional body'. The issue with podiatry assistants and unregulated practice can only be addressed through a change in legislation which is the responsibility of Parliament - not the Society.

    Good luck
    Mark
     
  16. ProspectivePod

    ProspectivePod Active Member

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your insight. Thats what I've been led to believe regarding the SCP, that they offer the most comprehensive services and is perhaps why I naturally think SCP rather than IOCP or BCHA. I totally agree with your comment regarding the HCPC but do hope that something better will come along to fix all its problems, a regulator not too dissimilar from the GMC/NMC/GOC etc. One that deals solely with podiatry. Now that would be a step in the right direction.

    I get all confused with what the HCPC is responsible for and what the SCP et al. are responsible for. Hopefully with the outcomes of your case maybe some legislative change can be achieved as the points you make regarding the HCPC - protection of title vs protection of function are important. Whilst protection of title is good (not going to argue with that) without some sort of protection of function, the importance of protection of title pales into insignificance. Title protection is important but protection of patients greater still... it is this fundamental issue that needs addressing and one i'm amazed that hasn't been addressed sooner.

    Good luck with everything, I admire what you're trying to achieve (not that admiration helps but still).
    Ashley
     
  17. Thank you Ashley that is most kind and appreciated. The problem is that currently we have no protection of function and only limited protection of title, which given the predominance of private sector practice in this profession, renders regulation of the profession meaningless. You can, quite legally, call yourself a chiropodist or podiatrist without registration, providing there is no intent to deceive. Podiatry Assistants are really not that important - the majority will work supervised in the NHS and maybe see the odd client privately - but so what? There are other characters who the public should not be exposed to including those struck off the HCPC register but still in practice. There is nothing stopping the profession setting up an independent register with voluntary self-regulation under a profession specific title with an additional remit of promoting the profession (as opposed to promoting and soliciting complaints about the profession). This would give the private practitioner the added benefit of legally being able to promote themselves as a registered podiatrist with the Podiatry Council, for example. Or the profession can carry on as before and adopt the well-practised manoeuvre of bending over and holding its ankles and hoping the outcome might not be too painful - and just leave it to the civil servants and officials to sort out. You're about to start a long and hopefully a very satisfactory journey; let's all hope that the profession's current representatives can make the destination a worthwhile one.

    All the best
     
  18. jonnorthants

    jonnorthants Member

    I suggested at a branch meeting a few years ago that we worked with the other three professional bodies to provide a broader more accessible range of CPD for members...that went down like a lead balloon.. I think maybe things are changing a little now though reading some of the comments above perhaps not!
     
  19. J M Brown

    J M Brown Member

    There have been a lot of postings since I last logged on, always a topic that gets people interested! All I will add is that if people are aware of podiatry assistants who are working privately please contact my office with the information and we will investigate.
    Joanna Brown
     
  20. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Hello Joanne

    Without wishing to add petrol to a fire, your comment closely resembles those given by the HCPC concerning what they would describe as 'misuse of titles'. Can I ask you to please read my posting #13 and kindly respond to my question:

    "As far as independent working by Pod Assistant is concerned, well, various people/bodies may not 'support' them so doing but they still do so. The better questions might be how many have been expelled for so doing, and if not why not?"

    Kind regards

    Bill Liggins
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  21. DAVOhorn

    DAVOhorn Well-Known Member

    Dear All,

    With regards to the original question.

    Physiotherapy has many professional bodies and training routes

    A friend of mine who is a grand parented Physiotherapist and a member of the HCPC. They also are owner / manager of the LCSP which I believe was run parallel to SMAE.

    The LCSP trains people in Physical therapies in the same manner that SMAE train FHP.

    Many community colleges run Massage , Massage Therapy, Sports Therapy, Sports Massage Therapy courses.

    each of the above have bodies that regulate course content and examinations.

    You then have Osteopathy and Chiropractic with their musculo-skeletal training and examinations and professional bodies. I believe that there are different schools of osteopathy and regulatory bodies. Same with Chiropratic eg McTimoney.

    You then have the beauty industry who do similar and also have professional bodies. Here where I live there are more than one school of Massage Therapies.

    Next we can look at Dietetics. There are many many means of becoming nutritionists and food advisors and professional bodies.

    Same with Speech and Language Therapists, there other agencies teaching diction, vocal coaches etc etc.

    So as you can see the regulation of the Allied Health Professions is a complete and total shambles . Has always been since 1961 when State Registration came in and was ignored by all the Private Trainers. Hence the mess with the failure of the HPC / HCPC to effectively deal with this. Both in1961 and later with HPC Grand Parenting was allowed in order to deal with the private Trainers. Both times this failed as the Private Trainers just ignored and avoided the new legislation.

    If you have a sense of humour look at Beauty therapists who inject BOTOX into their clients seemingly with impunity. I believe that some Allied health practitioners have accessed BOTOX via Beauty Therapy Course.

    If you look at the other complimentary Therapies the status is even worse.

    If you do not regulate the ACTIVITY but Regulate the Title then you cannot stop people doing tasks under a different Professional Title.

    Doctors who have been struck off are being investigated as they are still practicing but use a Complimentary Therapy Title to avoid the legislation.

    Ho Hum:deadhorse:

    David
     
  22. ProspectivePod

    ProspectivePod Active Member

    Thanks David,
    Correct me if I'm wrong but from reading your post you could argue that title aside you could wake up one day, decide to do some courses and in some cases can carry out a very "similar" scope of practice to diploma/degree trained professionals with limited knowledge, understanding or clinical skills? Obviously there are limits to this, no "professional" title, no NHS work etc but irrespective of this makes you question things.

    To me that is completely shocking and really highlights the issue in allied health, one being sector wide rather than solely an issue with podiatry. A lot of my research has been podiatry specific so your post was really enlightening.
    It's a real endemic and one that I can't see being fixed in the short or long term.

    Personally although some disagree and each side of the coin has negatives I really do think protection of function is important for a number of reasons; public protection especially. Obviously function would have to be within reason but do think it could be achieved. Wishful thinking perhaps.

    Ashley
     
  23. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    I agree Dave. However, the fault lies with us ie. the professional bodies. We had the opportunity to do what the Dentists did years ago but too many people had, colloquially, put their heads so far up their own fundaments, they couldn't see forward. My father (who was a chiro/physio) said that when Aneurin Bevan created the health service (in far too much of a hurry as it transpired, since he was a politician, not knowledgeable about health matters) he bought the medics and the dentists off with promises of money. When the chiros said 'What about us?', he said 'You will do as you are told'. Predictably they did, just as they did when they were told that the HPC legislation was wonderful, and then, despite all the major organisations agreeing to fight for their membership (for a change), one major organisation broke ranks yet again over the HCPC legislation. Until the profession is led by people of vision, courage and moral standing, when the powers-that-be say jump, the answer will always be 'Yes Sir (or Madam); how high?'

    Bill Liggins
     
  24. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Hello Ashley

    To my mind, it's really a question of control. Personally, I don't object to podiatry assistants and I don't object to FHPs. If the podiatry profession could simply delineate and then control all the aspects of practice then no one would have anything to fear. This is not new thinking and Tom Galloway many years ago envisaged a 'pyramidical structure' with recently qualified FHPs at the basic level and podiatric surgeons at the top, with the opportunity for everyone to rise in steps depending on how much study they were prepared to do and according to their ability. In other words an FHP could become a pod but they would need to do similar training as yourself, and so on. However, this was much too radical for some in the profession who wanted everyone to be at the same level with the predictable result - stagnation.

    I wish you and your fellow students all the best. Hopefully, you will be able to walk the high road, not in the mire and will not be frightened of little people in positions, as they see it, of power.

    Bill Liggins
     
  25. DAVOhorn

    DAVOhorn Well-Known Member

    Hello Ashley,

    The dental profession have had to deal with beauty therapists doing teeth whitening. Fortunately for Dentists there have been many instances of damage to teeth by beauty therapists. So this will be dealt with.

    If you wish to be a Health Care provider in Private Practice to my knowledge you do not need any training what so ever.

    Just rent a shop put a plaque outside saying what you do. Come up with a Catchy professional title and away you go.

    To work within the NHS you need to have professional qualification which leads to registration with the appropriate regulatory body.

    Unless of course you are an Assistant Helper Grade. In this instant you do a short training then off you go , allegedly under the direct supervision of an appropriately trained Professional.

    How ever it is a manager who makes the decision and the trained staff who carry the can. For evidence of this just go to HCPC complaints and read the outcomes and then weep.

    I am setting up the REGIONAL COLLEGE OF FOOT THROPODY AND SURGICAL UNGUALISTS.

    An intensive 75 minute course for a reasonable cost of 10,000.00 quid.:boxing:

    I will then franchise this nationally and retire to a non European Warrant warm sunny beach side country. :drinks

    A local FHP on his website is claiming to do Surgery of The Nail. I asked a friend who is SMAE trained what this was. Now as he is grandparented he too is ****** as he has done his LA Cert and Nail Surgery Training and His Prescription certs. He has complained to SMAE about the chap who is FHP . To No Effect. I laughed quietly as he is now not amused by SMAE. :D

    Ho Hum not a lost has changed since 1986 when I was released into the big wide world of Chopody sorry Podiatry.

    David
     
  26. I'm afraid you're wrong on this point. Someone could wake up tomorrow and purchase a set of instruments with some equipment over the Internet and set up in practice on Monday morning, call themselves a podiatrist (albeit - non HCPC registered), purchase some PII and publish a price list against treatments and off they go. All perfectly legal and proper. And no student loans to account for either.....
     
  27. ProspectivePod

    ProspectivePod Active Member

    I totally agree with you David, the problems I can think of on the top of my head is improper regulation of practitioners and no real professional hierarchy. I have no problem with podiatry assistants and think they provide a role in the NHS taking basic caseloads so that podiatrists can tackle the complex casework. I personally think the basic podiatry skills, corns, callus and nails are extremely important and in an ideal world the NHS podiatrist would tackle all. However with staffing levels and budget cuts its not possible not that were short of podiatrists to carry out the work. FHPs I'm more unsure about and remain iffy as regulation etc is an issue but this is more likely an issue of ignorance on my part. If we had a pyramidal structure with each professional level occupying a level with a clear, legally defined scope of practice and proper regulation of each maybe this would address some issues. However don't feel this outcome could be achieved with the current regulator we have and its limited powers.

    Thanks Mark and David for your points. It really makes me laugh that the government hasn't addressed this issue especially where there is so much potential harm to be caused. It really is a shambles. It is really sad that I've chosen to study podiatry, invest my future in a career that I'm really passionate about yet legally you can with sufficient outlay start up now, putting patients at risk and tarring professionals with the same brush. It's beggars belief and one that any educated individual would find an issue with.

    I don't really know what can be done to address the mess but something needs to happen legislatively for the profession and the public. It doesn't help when a lot of people don't know what a podiatrist/ chiropodist is, the discrepancies in training between podiatrists, FHPs etc. The public see us all as the same irrespective of title. If it acts like a duck, looks like a duck but is called something different, it's still a duck. Really poor analogy, do forgive me but I hope it illustrates a point. One in which the public don't care about titles but about having someone that can perform a service professionally, safely and with the correct education to achieve that. We don't necessarily have that in some instances I.e. Those struck off the HCPC register and it's dangerous. Perhaps a bit dramatic but hey.

    Ashley
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  28. Pauline burrell-saward

    Pauline burrell-saward Active Member

    It is not just podiatry where practise is " dumbed down or is it up!"

    I trained as a nurse many years ago, three years followed by midwifery.

    recently a relative who I would describe as a nurse assistant was describing her work on a acute ward on a hospital

    Setting up I/V's ,catherisation, giving drugs ( not DDA'S) , what she didn't seem to do was actually do basics- that was for the lower level of assistants.

    I'm not saying she hadn't been well trained and didn't do a good job, but it made me wonder why I did three years of training and took all those exams.

    however she eventually left as she realised there was no career progression as she didn't have the qualifications to progress.

    so most professions are changing.

    Recently I was running my clinic at a G/P surgery. the practice nurse was, running the Doctor clinic, the retired paramedic was running the nurse clinic. Again they are very competent
     
  29. Cyberbarn

    Cyberbarn Member

    Bill,

    I wonder if you would mind me asking you a question. You said "This is not new thinking and Tom Galloway many years ago envisaged a 'pyramidical structure' with recently qualified FHPs at the basic level and podiatric surgeons at the top, with the opportunity for everyone to rise in steps depending on how much study they were prepared to do and according to their ability. "

    Did Tom ever write that down anywhere, or publish a paper on that? It just seems that with the NHS in flux, and so many professions changing, maybe now is the right time to bring this to the table again?

    Jennifer
     
  30. ProspectivePod

    ProspectivePod Active Member

    Pauline, your comment regarding nursing is an interesting one. Healthcare professions currently are quite upwardly mobile it would seem. By that I mean established professionals gaining extra scope of practice, as is the case for nurses and others. I watched a fascinating programme about nurses (channel 5 I think it was) and what some were doing; advanced nurse practitioners particularly was very reminiscent of stuff expected of a junior doctor. Minor illness, trauma, diagnosing etc... all very exciting.

    Regarding podiatry though, I'm unsure whether its on the up or on its way down to be frank. Theres advanced scope such as that seen in musculoskeletal/biomechanics and orthopaedic triage and obviously surgery etc. I wonder out of everything covered in a three year podiatry degree, how much of that can actually be used in real world practice? What are your thoughts, up or down? It seems in some areas to be slipping and in others progress seems to be being made i.e. independent prescribing rights etc on further qualification. I'd genuinely love to know what SCP et al. are doing to achieve their mission of making podiatry synonymous with foot issues and conditions. Think we've got a long way to go.
     
  31. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Hello Jennifer

    It certainly was published at the time (not sure where though) and he did a very full presentation along with his colleague Nick Gilbert. Obviously, any attempt to re-introduce such a concept would need the support of the profession and whether, having snookered the idea in the first place, there might be a change of heart I cannot say. Tom Galloway still works at Hereford NHS and it might be of interest to give him a ring.

    All the best

    Bill
     
  32. Cyberbarn

    Cyberbarn Member

    Thanks for your reply Bill.

    I am afraid Tom Galloway has now retired, but Nick Gilbert hasn't. He is semi-retired, and is one of the podiatric surgeons I see for my own feet. I knew about his Foot Cares: Who Cares paper that he and Tom wrote but I didn't know about the other stuff.

    I might try to bring it up with him next time I see him, but it can be a bit awkward as a patient discussing these things on NHS time, especially if the clinic is running late. It is usually only when I am getting injected that we have time to chat.

    If I find anything I will bring it back to this discussion.

    Jennifer
     
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