AS a GP, I can say that many doctors, including myself, value the Homeopathic Hospital in Glasgow, as do the patients ("GPs caught up in row over homeopathic prescriptions", The Herald, November 28).
While I have no detailed knowledge of the finances, I suspect it may also be good value for money for the NHS. I think it would be short-sighted of the health board to cut funding without considering the broader implications.
The involvement of GPs in issuing homeopathic prescriptions was done with no consultation. The current situation is that the homeopathic prescriber issues what is essentially a private prescription, which can then be taken to the GP to be transcribed on to a NHS prescription form. The GP is being asked to sign a prescription for a preparation about which he or she may have no or limited knowledge, which is clearly not good practice. Moreover, the preparations are often not on our clinical system in the same form, leading to time spent telephoning and checking, and giving potential for errors.
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This situation could easily be resolved by the homeopathic prescriber writing the prescription on an NHS prescription form, which the patient could then take straight to the pharmacy, thus averting much frustration on the part of all involved, including the patients. There is a precedent for this, in that certain medicines are, by agreement, prescribed directly by hospital doctors, where it is felt that the GP may not have sufficient knowledge or experience to take responsibility for the prescription.
I trust this simple solution will be actively considered.
Dr Christine M Crawford,
1119 Argyle Street,