It has been two months since we announced our campaign to challenge the provision of homeopathy on the NHS, starting initially with NHS Liverpool CCG. So far the campaign has received positive coverage in the Telegraph, the Liverpool Echo, the BMJ, Pulse magazine, On Medica and more. Obviously blogs and tweets from homeopaths have been far less flattering.
While Liverpool CCG begins to draw up their criteria for a re-appraisal of its funding for homeopathy, we are encouraged to recently learn that other CCGs have taken their lead in evaluating whether funds wasted on worthless sugar pills can be better spent elsewhere.
Earlier this month, NHS Halton CCG confirmed to us that they will no longer be funding homeopathy. The number of CCGs who still fund homeopathy grows ever smaller.
Even more significantly, we have been informed that the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital, whose annual homeopathy budget exceeded £200,000 in previous years, will no longer be offering homeopathic treatments as of October 2015. Given the central role the homeopathic hospital plays in the continuation of homeopathy in the region (five CCGs currently refer patients to the facility), its closure offers a genuine opportunity for the area to end its association with a treatment that has been shown to be of no benefit, reallocating the sizeable funding to effective treatments.
The move to close the homeopathic facility reflects a clear downturn in demand for its services. NHS Bristol CCG’s annual spend in the years 2006-2009 exceeded £250,000, but last year referred just 263 patients to the hospital, at a total cost of £32,324.
NHS Bristol CCG have confirmed to us that their policy on homeopathic remedies will be reviewed ahead of the closure of the hospital – as part of our campaign, we will be writing to them to highlight the many reasons why they ought to follow the example of Halton CCG, Liverpool CCG and the other 85% of English CCGs who no longer fund homeopathy.
To support our campaign and help fund our legal challenges and our efforts to work with CCGs across the country to end NHS waste on homeopathy, make a donation today. The success of our campaign depends on the support and backing we get from people who, like us, want to see NHS funds spent where they can offer real help to patients.