Why is treatment so hard to get on the NHS and a bit like a postcode lottery?
More people would enjoy the benefits of complementary therapies if they were available free on the NHS. One of the big advantages of our health service is that you can go to the doctor and receive treatment free of charge, but while you may be given a prescription for drugs or referred to a specialist, what are the chances of being sent for a massage or a session of reflexology to ease your stress and pain?
The answer is that the chances are quite slim and again it is a bit of a geographical lottery. If you live in areas where the GP practice (or Primary Care Trust) is in favour of such therapies you may find it much easier than one where only traditional treatments are available.
Both osteopathy and chiropractic are regulated which means that they are accepted under NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines, yet surprisingly they are not as available as you might expect, Acupuncture is, however, widely available on the NHS but provision is still patchy and you may not get it where you live.
Some people believe that having a more integrated medical system including therapies would help to cut NHS bills by preventing illness before it became more serious – and more costly.
At The Therapy Rooms UK we are finding that some Doctors are more open than others to their patients coming for therapy, whether it is Massage or Reiki, however we have yet to see them refer which means you as the client will still have to pay.
Over the coming months and yes possibly a few years, we will be engaging with the NHS and the various staff to try and integrate complementary therapies into the NHS and will keep you posted on how that goes.
In the mean time how can you help move it in the right direction?
Speak to your doctor, ask why they do not refer or recommend. If you have been to us before explain to your doctor how you felt and how you benefited. This might seem a small thing to do but the more people who do it the more doctors will take notice.