Greater Glasgow NHS Board has today (17th May 2005) backed a recommendation to retain Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital's 15 dedicated inpatient beds.
The future of the inpatient service at the Hospital was considered as part of a comprehensive review of all services within NHS Greater Glasgow to find more cost effective ways of working.
It considered whether the same high quality service could be provided to patients without dedicated beds – as happens elsewhere in the UK.
In carrying out the review, the Board listened to the views of staff and patients of the hospital. Having done so, it has acknowledged the inpatient service offers a valid and important model of care for a small number of patients whose needs have not been met by conventional care and agreed the beds should remain open.
On today's decision, Tom Divers, Chief Executive, NHS Greater Glasgow, said: "The decision on whether or not to proceed to consult on the closure of the inpatient homoeopathic beds was one that the Board were only willing to take once we had a full understanding of the consequences of removing the beds.
"The comprehensive review that has taken place over the past year has therefore considered the experiences of other centres in the UK where beds have been removed.We have also worked with patients and clinicians at the hospital to produce a joint paper setting out the implication of closing the beds.Board members have visited the hospital and no stone has been left unturned in examining the cases for and against closing the inpatient beds.
"350 patients a year are admitted to the Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital and it is clear that both the homoeopathic clinicians and the patients take the view that this service can only be fully provided with dedicated beds."
Brian McAlorum, patient representative and co-author of the joint paper, said: "This news is met with enormous relief and appreciation to the Health Board for making this crucial positive decision.
"The team of dedicated staff at the Hospital will now be able to continue working with their usual diligence and devotion to provide crucial care to those who need it most.
"I personally would like to thank NHS Greater Glasgow, who gave us the opportunity to have three months of meaningful discussions that ultimately allowed the Board to be more knowledgeable of the consequences the proposed closure of the inpatient beds would have on the patients."
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