The Bridge in Haringey is one of the 39 NDC areas in England which had funding to help the community improve health, housing, education and community safety. The project started from a community development basis, with local people involved in the decision making across the project. When asked what health services they wanted, many said complementary therapies, so Get Well UK was commissioned to integrate a range of the therapies into the new Primary Care centre at The Laurels on St Ann’s Road, Tottenham.
37 GPs referred patients to us from May 2004 until March 2006. The audit showed a highly significant improvement in health outcome. The Primary Care Trust would not fund the service. There are probably lots of reasons why. However...
Many people ask what it is like working with GPs. As with all groups of people there is a continuum and people are at different stages. There are some GPs who understand the benefits of complementary therapies and are delighted to be able to offer something to their patients which is non-toxic and possibly curative, or at least will help with disease management. There are those who think that complementary therapy is a con, a waste of public money and that it should not be available through the NHS. And there are many people in between.
Given that most GPs have not received any training or education in complementary therapies, and that their journals rarely cover the topic, they rely on information fed through Sunday papers and magazines and the interests that their patients bring into the clinic. When one GP said “I have had my head in the sand over this issue for a long time and welcome the opportunity to get it out” we were delighted. This is exactly the group of GPs we want to work with and of course we remain very open to their worries, concerns, feedback and ideas.
This road towards a healthy NHS is still undefined and the more non-judgemental conversations we can have the better. Get Well UK remains committed to learning from everyone we work with and integrating ideas into the organisation. As our patients are dynamic and changing, so are we.