Concerns Regarding NHS Lanarkshire's Decision to Cease Referrals to the Centre of Integrative Care (Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital)

Written by a Patient
The NHS Health Board Meeting on 9th December 2014, was held togivethe reasons for their decision to no longer refer patients.
Therewerea number of concerns abouthow the information was presented at themeeting to the Health Board members, who thenvotednine in favour of ceasing referrals,three in favour of continuing referrals to the many services at the hospital, (who raised very pertinentissuesand concerns that weredisregarded by the majority),as well as1 abstention.

NHS Lanarkshire have caused concernthroughout their flawedConsultation:

  • Due to refusing to write to the patients who attend the hospital to inform them about the Consultation in order that they can take part and thepoor advertising of the Consultation, whichextendedits closure date.
  • Calling it a 'Homoeopathic Review' whenactually the Consultation question was entirely different- 'Should NHS Lanarkshire refer patients to the Centre for Integrative Care (Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital)?' This is a totally different question than implied on the front pageand poster relating to the Consultation. It also shows that the Boarddid not fully understand the integrative care model at the hospital that has a wide number of services availableandnot allpatients attending the hospitalreceive homoeopathy.
  • Duringtheir September Boardmeeting, NHS Lanarkshirebroke into private session to discuss the Consultation report, which is not usual, on whatwas supposed to be a transparent public Consultation. Thisraises thequestion-what exactly was discussed at this closed meeting?
  • Why did NHS Lanarkshire go to the troubleand costs of holding the public Consultation if they were then going to decide to totally disregard the public views, when the overwhelmingresult was to continue to allow referrals? Why wereNHS funds spent on a publicConsultationwhen they were never going to adhere to the result of public opinion anyway?!
  • What message does this send out to other health professionals working elsewhere in the NHS when this award-winning hospital has received several 100% patient satisfaction ratings, meeting all its patient objectives and outcomes expected of this tertiary service, and delivering cost-effective care to a cohort of patients that have complex conditions who have generally exhausted all other means of conventional NHS care before theirreferrals? Yet their services are being cut and patients denied access.
This decisionby NHS Lanarkshire to cease referralsseriously puts at risk the whole future of the NHS Centre of Integrative Care for all patients throughout Scotland who rely on the many services that are available at the hospital, as it was reported in The Herald thata spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "We are reliant on the ongoing commitment from other NHS Boards to make use of the inpatient services to maintain their viability."
We knowthat Robert Calderwood the Chief Executive of Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board has also stated publicly for several years thatshould another Health Board around Scotland decide toceasereferrals to the hospital, then it's survivalwould be put in jeopardy. This is now an urgentand very concerning situationand requires political support and pressure.
We do hope that national funding may be found to secure this hospital's futureto continue to make the hospital services available for all patients in Scotland,which will put an end to the postcode lottery, allow portability of careand equality of access to this national centre of excellence that is providing gold standard care for patients,and which is individualised, person-centred,holisticand integrative and the best care available for those with complex, long-term, chronicconditions.
The patient's voice is rarely heard here, nor the facts that are trulyrepresentativeandmean the most to the patients who areaffected.
We do hope that the hospital's futurecan besecured for the many thousands of Scottish patients who depend on its many and varied services, not readily available elsewhere n the NHS.