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Introducing voluntary donations to fund primary care acupuncture – a user survey
  1. Jonathan Freedman, general practitioner1,
  2. Marion Richardson, senior lecturer2
  1. 1
    Parkbury House Surgery, St Albans, Hertfordshire
  2. 2
    University of Hertfordshire
  1. jonathan.freedman{at}


An acupuncture clinic has been running in general practice without any funding for nine years. However, reorganisation of the health service meant that it had to become self-funding. A scheme for voluntary donations was introduced, with a target of £15 per treatment. In the first six months, the scheme covered the clinic’s costs. A user survey was undertaken to elicit patients’ views on the scheme. The majority of patients thought that the scheme was a good idea, and the amount about right. However, a few patients found payment difficult, and stated that they would be less likely to use the service for that reason, or feel guilty about using it without paying. This information should be used to try to obtain public funding through public funds in the future.

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