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Get Well UK delivers a high standard of service : practitioners must be members of an appropriate professional body and have been in practice for at least two years. Patients are seen relatively fast (average 11 day referral period including booking of interpreters). GPs are provided with a list of treatments available, indications for their use, their philosophy and detailed definitions of each term. Website details are provided for those GPs requiring further information on the treatments. The company convenes clinical meetings for practitioners, doctors and nurses on issues such as pain management and high blood pressure. These meetings give all participants the opportunity to learn about other approaches to health care.

The Islington GPs referred so enthusiastically that the contract was fully subscribed in the first six weeks, in comparison with six months in Haringey. There were fewer referring GPs in Islington because there were fewer participating surgeries. Internal analysis of the Islington contract yields the following statistics:

  • 72% of GPs who returned their forms said the service had decreased their workload. This could be partly due to the fact that referred patients seem to have chronic and complex health problems – 69% had had their symptoms for more than a year.
  • 62.5% felt service was beneficial to all patients, or wanted the service to continue/ be made more widely available
  • 30% reported that patients got better. A further 17.5% said patients seemed to feel better or said they did. A further 12.5% reported that patients hadn’t visited the surgery since the Get Well UK course of treatments.
  • Positive GP comments included ‘This service has been invaluable to us and the patients’ and ‘This patient had much [medical] input to no avail but complementary therapy has relieved his symptoms entirely.’ Other than demand and supply issues, there were no negative comments from the Islington GPs who returned the questionnaires.