A letter has been sent to all patients registered at the St Luke’s medical Centre and is to be found on their website.
The letter explains that no replacement anthroposophical doctors have been found for the two retiring GPs or for a third who is leaving for another job after just over a year.
It also mentions the closure of the Tuffley Surgery in Gloucester, also owned by St Luke’s Trust (read about this in other newsletters on the website).
After a discussion I had with a member of the “Patient engagement team” at Gloucestershire clinical commissioning group, it seems that they believe they have a duty to provide medical care for patients who use the St Luke’s medical practice, and this is why they are supporting St Luke’s in their efforts to “merge” with another local GP surgery.
GCCG are at pains to point out that they do not fund the alternative anthroposophical medicines offered at St Luke’s; if this is really the case, why do they feel it necessary to preserve St Luke’s? Why not simply offer the remaining patients another surgery? The number of GPs remains the same, and presumably the funding does too.
The claim from GCCG is in direct contradiction to the statement on St Luke’s website;
All the medicines, conventional or not, are available on the NHS
When I wrote to the NHS under the Freedom of Information Act I was informed that there was no way of knowing which aspects of medical care the NHS funding was paying for.
The GP salaries are paid for by the NHS so if they then prescribe Eurythmy or Art therapy the NHS certainly is paying them to do this. (And of course the therapists and other anthoposophical staff, who refer to conventional medicine in a derogatory way as “allopathic” benefit from this.)
One of the worst aspects of all this is that not only are treatments being offered which are useless, anthroposophical doctors, who view conventional medicine as spiritually harmful, may be directing patients away from medicine that they really need.
Some patients certainly are unaware that anthroposophy is the important aspect of what these doctors learn in their special training, and is influencing their diagnostic decisions.
For information about what anthro doctors learn on their postgrad training course we do not have to look far; the three year course at British Postgraduate Training in anthroposophic Medicine is run in Stroud by Dr Michael Evans, and the timetable lists clay modelling, projective geometry (can anyone explain this and how it relates to medical care?), basic soul exercises, and spiritual pharmacy.
With all this expertise on our doorstep it is bizarre that there are no candidates for the vacancies at St Lukes.
My source at GCCG hinted that there are some facts not available to the public in this matter of saving St Lukes, so yet again, tax-payers are not allowed to know how decisions are made with regard to funding.
To those looking on who are concerned about the NHS, the decision to try to save St Luke’s makes no sense.