Both our local papers report the closure of St Lukes medical centre at the end of next month due to “lack of staff”, with the Stroud News reporting the shortage of GPs nationally as the reason. The story is the front page headline, but the fact that the surgery is anthroposophical is not mentioned until page 8, where also at last Rudolf Steiner himself gets a mention.
Stroud life is more specific about the problems at St Lukes;
A number of factors have led to the decision including the relatively small number of patients, the finances of the practice and difficulty recruiting GPs, including those with anthroposophic expertise or interest.
The failure to recruit doctors willing to participate in anthroposophic medicine is the reason, and we can only assume that the postgraduate training course run by Dr Evans in Stroud has either been poorly attended, or has failed to inspire GPs to work at St Lukes.
There are 4,000 patients registered at the medical centre, and according to the patient survey 80% of those who responded consider anthroposophy important;
Importance of anthroposophic medicine:
Responses 2013 Responses 2014
Not at all 5 (3%) 5 (4%)
Don’t mind 16 (10%) 14 (10%)
Fairly important 18 (12%) 7 (5%)
Important 23 (15%) 37 (27%)
Very important 92 (60%) 73 (53%)
I know for a fact that some of the patients have never heard the word anthroposophy and have no idea they have been part of a spiritual development project by a religious cult. They are attracted by the idea of “holistic” medicine.
Anyway this is a positive news story for Stroud. As my GP pointed out, the patients will be added to the lists in other local practices, assuming they can bring themselves to use mainstream medicine, but Gloucestershire NHS will no longer be funding what can only be described as quackery, and that is a good thing.