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It's a real alternative.

Byline: By Craig Thompson

Restore therapies call

Calls were today made to restore complementary therapies by the NHS on Tyneside.

The move follows a new report, commissioned by the Prince of Wales, saying the treatments should be more widely available.

Just months ago, a pioneering North scheme giving patients free treatment was wound up.

It had been hoped the West End Complementary Therapy Project, at Adelaide Medical Centre, in Benwell, Newcastle, would go citywide.

But funding problems meant part of the project was stopped.

Homeopath Pat Haggie said the region's health would have benefited if it had continued.

She added: "More people are turning to complementary therapies and this should be reflected by the services being readily available on the NHS."

The study found where patients were treated with alternative medicines, there was a 30% drop in people visiting their GP.

In Tyneside, a staggering 68% of patients reported feeling better within six weeks of treatment.

Jerry Drake, 52, of Arthur's Hill, Newcastle, had been using homeopathy for three years after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Jerry said: "Through homeopathy, I was getting the cause of my condition treated, rather than the symptoms."

A spokeswoman for Newcastle PCT said: "We welcome this report which highlights where various complementary therapies can best work in the NHS.

"Our scheme in partnership with New Deal for Communities also helped identify the areas where these therapies can help.

"As a result, our scheme is now concentrating on acupuncture, chiropracty and osteopathy."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 7, 2005
Words:247
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