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NHS Centre for Integrative Care

The NHS Centre for Integrative Care, on the Gartnavel Hospitals site, offers people with long term conditions a wide range of opportunities to enhance their health and quality of life. Most patients referred to the Centre are experiencing chronic pain, chronic low energy, and/or chronic low mood or anxiety. However, any patient with a long term condition may benefit from the care provided here.

What is integrative care?
Integrative is a term which refers to increasing the harmony and coherence of your whole being. Integrative care is therefore focused on the person, not on either the disease or a particular therapy. The intention with integrative care is to promote and enhance wellbeing, resilience, and the realisation of an individual’s potential capacities for self-care, self-regulation and self-healing.

  • ‘Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasises the therapeutic relationship, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.’ Dr Andrew Weil Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine https://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/

  • Integrative Medicine, “is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes good use of all therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.” (as defined by the American Board of Integrative Medicine and the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine)

The Centre for Integrative Care practices a unique form of Integrative Medicine, which is healing-oriented, whole person-centred integrative care, which respects individual autonomy, whilst offering appropriate support, and incorporates extensive skills and experience of practitioner, evolving in innovative ways to meet the challenges of complex multi-morbidity and long-term conditions in the varied population it serves. The service is recognised as a centre of excellence in person-centred care and award winning, including the prestigious ALLIANCE Best Self Management Resource in 2016.

What can I expect if I am referred?
All patients are seen in an Outpatient Clinic by either a doctor or an advanced specialist nurse practitioner who will seek to achieve a comprehensive, holistic understanding of your illness, its context in your life. We think the relationship between the patient and their health care practitioner is a crucially important part of their care so we will establish a therapeutic alliance with you based on trust, non-judgemental listening and empathy. Health care is a relationship, not an event, so you can expect continuity of care. Although we have a multidisciplinary team and we will create an individualised care plan for you, the practitioner you see initially will be your main carer throughout.

What might be involved in an individualised integrative care plan?
Integrative care involves

  • a co-ordinated mix of health and wellness coaching,
  • advice and information,
  • the teaching of health-making practices and techniques,
  • and the delivery of specific non-drug, non-surgical therapeutic interventions which are intended to facilitate greater vitality, resilience and growth in the person who presents with the illness.

In addition to one-to-one consultations, there are groups and classes to teach a holistic understanding of health and to enable individuals to increase their self-compassion and their ability to self-manage their condition. There is also a Holistic Day Service which is a four day programme delivered by a multi-disciplinary team.

Interventions offered include Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Heartmath, Counselling, Art and Music Therapy, Physiotherapy, and Therapeutic Massage, and complementary therapies such as Acupuncture, Homeopathy and Mistletoe Therapy. Relaxation, Stress Management, Yoga and Tai Chi may be included in the some of the group programmes we offer. You can find out more in Groups and Classes and Therapies.

Referrals
The NHS Centre for Integrative Care accepts referrals from all health care professionals in exactly the same way as all other hospitals and clinics. Normally your GP will refer you, but you may also seek a referral from another hospital specialist, a specialist nurse, or specialist physiotherapist. All patients are offered an appointment within nine weeks of the referral letter being received.