Information for GPs and Medical Practitioners

Keeping doctors and referrers informed

We’re working to inform and update healthcare providers — including general practitioners, nurses, consultants, and clinicians — on the value of integrative care and patients’ rights for a choice in treatment.

Did you know…

  • you can refer patients to the NHS Centre for Integrative Care (CIC) in Glasgow?
  • The CIC is an NHS service with no cost for a referral or consultation?
  • conventional treatment can be supported by integrative care?
  • integrative care interventions are often safer, more effective and more affordable than pharmaceutical treatments?
  • the Scottish government endorses holistic, patient-centred care?

Hesitant?

Perhaps you haven’t referred patients to The CIC because you are not a “believer” in integrative care, you don’t know the scope of the Centre’s services, or you’re concerned about the cost of referral (none). We’re happy to talk through your questions and concerns. Just email hello@friendscic.org or phone 07532619335.

The NHS Centre for Integrative Care accepts referrals from all healthcare professionals in exactly the same way as all other hospitals and clinics; there is no cost for referrals or consultations. Referrals can be made by a GP, hospital specialist, a specialist nurse, physiotherapist, or other healthcare professional. All patients are offered an appointment with an experienced medical practitioner or senior clinician within nine weeks of the referral letter being received. The CIC offers a highly experienced clinical team who draws on their medical and nursing backgrounds for holistic assessment and treatments. Established in 1880, The CIC is the UK’s only purpose-built hospital offering integrative care. The service is recognised as a centre of excellence in person-centred care and its accolades include being named “Best Self Management Resource” in 2016 by The ALLIANCE. For more information, email hello@friendscic.org or phone 07532619335.

The law requires that, “The range of options available in the patient’s case is considered,” and too often integrative care is overlooked. Many GPs don’t realise that referral to The Centre for Integrative Care is available, and requests for referral can originate from motivated patients seeking alternatives to pharmacological treatment. Referrals can be made by a GP, hospital specialist, a specialist nurse, physiotherapist or other healthcare professional. The Charter of Patient Rights & Responsibilities (Scotland) states to patients that: “You have the right to be involved in decisions about your own care and treatment. NHS staff should not make decisions about your care and treatment without involving you in that decision. You can ask for a second opinion before you make a decision about your care and treatment, if you think you need it.”

This person-centred holistic approach includes complementary and alternative therapies that have been shown to improve patients’ quality of life. Learn more here. Interventions offered at The Centre for Integrative Care include Acupuncture, Mindfulness, Homeopathy, Art and Music Therapy, Counselling, Mistletoe Therapy, Physiotherapy, and more. View the full list. The UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare produced a report [PDF] that urges government to embrace complementary, traditional and natural medicine to assist with addressing the key health issues affecting the country. The 2019 report was produced in consultation with 113 complementary and alternative medicine organisations, according to the Complementary & Natural Health Council.

Scotland is leading the way internationally, along with Iceland and New Zealand, naming the health and wellbeing of its citizens as being as fundamental to the country’s success as its GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The Centre for Integrated Care upholds this vision. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who previously served as health minister, established the National Performance Framework to measure improvement on a range of economic, social and environmental factors. Watch her TED Talk on this topic.

Friends CIC 25th Anniversary Badge
For general practitioners and all clinicians who do support integrative care for patients, we say THANK YOU. Please consider supporting our cause by:

Skip to content