As one of the UK’s most established treatment and rehabilitation clinics, Gladstones Clinic has criticised healthcare brokers and referral agents that have made profit from vulnerable people seeking treatment for addictive and behavioural problems in the UK.
At Gladstones Clinic, we believe that these referrers can often act without sufficient knowledge of addiction. Rather than helping clients to find the much-needed help that they need, some agencies are driven by commercial and unscrupulous targets to make money. In the past, these brokers have been rewarded for generating enquiries for care-giving organisations.
Referral agencies are legal in the UK and are therefore common in many industries. Unfortunately, in this case, their work can result in an increase to the costs for those people needing access to rehabilitation and recovery services. This in turn puts more strain on the NHS and charitable organisations.
At Gladstones, we believe that the needs of the patient are paramount. We would prefer that patients speak to professionals if healthcare help is needed.
Patients should be assessed by their medical needs and not the referral fee they might generate. Referral agency staff are non-medical and often have no appropriate qualifications to undertake a thorough assessment and advise on the best treatment. The industry is also totally unregulated, leaving vulnerable patients and their families open to misconduct from referrers.
In stark contrast, the benefits of contacting a rehabilitation and recovery clinic directly are many. Being able to talk to highly qualified individuals in their respective disciplines, receive trustworthy first-hand information and access to impartial advice are just some of the reasons why a patient should contact Gladstone’s independently.
People with addiction and behavioral problems should be put in direct contact with experts that will find realistic and practical solutions to their issues. At Gladstones, we provide a greater level of transparency around who we are as the care providers and what services we can provide.
There’s no sales pitch. We will always prioritise the patient’s needs and provide treatment that’s tailor-made to their unique situation.
The unethical business practices of some of these healthcare referral agencies have recently received national press coverage. Following a whistle-blowing article in the Times newspaper, Google has removed all existing paid ads for addiction treatment services and facilities across all of their platforms. The search engine made the decision in order to safeguard it against any malpractice around referral agencies.
The exposé ‘Google makes millions from plight of addicts’ threw light on some activity undertaken by referral agencies all over the UK.
The Times article and Google’s subsequent withdrawal of ads in the sector, has in fact provided an opportunity for clinics to set the record straight on how they view referral agency practices.
With many conversations starting up around the national press coverage, we are keen to express our hopes for the future of the care-giving industry.
We would like to see the industry regulated so that legitimate businesses can openly advertise so their service can be found by those that need it. This would also mean that those seeking treatment can be assured that they are calling a legitimate helpline. We hope this can be done with Google’s support.
If you have any questions or concerns in relation to this piece or the issues covered in it, please contact our friendly support team on …. Freephone 0808250663 or email us today.