Prince Charles opens holistic clinic at Dumfries House
Daily Mail Online, News
16 July 2017
The Prince will see you now: Charles opens 'holistic' clinic at the stately home he saved for the nation
- Prince Charles is greating a state-of-the-art clinic offering free 'holistic' care
- He has won backing from the NHS for his Health and Wellbeing Centre
- It will assist patients battling a range of illnesses from cancer to obesity
- The centre will be built in the grounds of Dumfries House in Ayrshire
Prince Charles is creating a state-of-the-art clinic that will offer free ‘holistic’ care for patients referred by NHS doctors.
Charles, who has faced criticism in the past for his support for complementary health therapies, has won backing from the NHS and local authorities for his Health and Wellbeing Centre, which will assist patients battling a range of illnesses, from cancer to obesity.
The centre will be built in the grounds of Dumfries House, a stately home in Ayrshire that the Prince saved for the nation a decade ago.
Besides complementary therapies, the purpose-built centre will offer fitness and education programmes.
The Health and Wellbeing Centre – which will be built in the grounds of the Dumfries House
stately home, pictured – will assist patients battling a range of illnesses
It is not known which therapies will be used at the new centre, but a conference on ‘integrated’ approaches to women’s health at the mansion this autumn will explore homeopathy, reflexology and acupuncture.
For ten years, Dumfries House has been run as a tourist attraction and community centre, but the Prince has also used it to promote some of his utopian ideas, such as championing traditional crafts.
The bill for constructing the new Health & Wellbeing Centre – one new building and two converted lodges – will be covered by private donors.
The cost of running the service is covered by the profits that Dumfries House makes as a tourist attraction.
Patients who are referred to Dumfries House do not have to pay for the service, nor is there a charge to the NHS.
Initially, patients will be referred only by local GPs, but in the future people could be sent there from other parts of the country.
The Prince has already employed ‘health and wellbeing co-ordinators’ to run groups for women experiencing the menopause.
One of the co-ordinators, dietician Carolyn Paton, said: ‘Dumfries House Integrated Health programme is supported by rigorous research and assessment.’
Dumfries House deputy executive director Kenneth Dunsmuir added: ‘Our new Health and Wellbeing Centre will support local GPs and provide services that people need.
'It is about providing additional things that the NHS may not offer.’
The Prince has long been an advocate of alternative medicine despite criticism from some medical experts that such approaches often have little scientific basis.
In 2012, he called for the NHS to recognise ‘the core human elements of mind, body and spirit’, as well as simply treating disease.
In his ‘black spider memos’ – released in 2015 after a ten-year freedom of information battle – he lobbied the last Labour Government to change public spending plans in favour of complementary medicine.
The Prince also founded a charity in the 1990s called the Foundation for Integrated Health, which promoted alternative medicine.
However, it was shut down in 2010 amid allegations of large-scale fraud by a former official.
The Prince’s Charities Foundation rescued
Dumfries House in 2007 when the 7th Marquess of Bute
put the mansion on the market for £45 million.
The Prince had to borrow £20 million against his charities to save it.
Doom-mongers warned the ‘vanity project’ was the most ‘reckless gamble of his life’ but the estate now welcomes 25,000 visitors a year.