NHS Liverpool CCG ends funding for homeopathy

3736069_1426544235.2609_funddescriptionThe Good Thinking Society welcomed today’s decision by NHS Liverpool CCG to decommission homeopathy services. The decision comes after months of public consultation which showed overwhelming support from Liverpool residents for an end to funding.

The report on the consultation, which came about after Good Thinking’s legal challenge to the CCG in February 2015, concluded that 64% of Liverpool residents consulted and 73% of overall respondents wanted to stop homeopathy funding immediately.

Interestingly, the report also found that many respondents did not understand the true nature of homeopathy, suggesting that the number of people calling to an end to the treatment may have been higher if it had been clearer that homeopathic remedies are not the same as ‘herbal’ or ‘natural’ remedies, and in particular that homeopathic remedies typically contain no active ingredient at all.

Michael Marshall, Liverpool resident and Project Director of the Good Thinking Society, said of the decision: “We wholeheartedly support the decision by NHS Liverpool CCG to cease funding for homeopathy. It is greatly encouraging to see such a clear statement from Liverpool CCG that homeopathy has no place on the NHS.

“The evidence is unequivocal in showing that homeopathic treatments are no more effective than placebo, and the public consultation showed that the people of Liverpool believe limited NHS funds should be spent on treatments that are shown to actually work.

“We feel that in taking into account the ineffectiveness of homeopathy, as well as the view of the Liverpool people, the CCG has made the right choice today.

“With the end to homeopathy funding in Liverpool, the CCG joins the overwhelming majority of health bodies in the country in recognising that homeopathy is not a valid use of limited NHS resources. The basic expectation of patients is that the treatments they are offered on the NHS actually work. Homeopathy has clearly failed to meet this expectation.”

“The result in Liverpool is a significant victory for our charity Good Thinking, as our challenge prompted the review of funding for homeopathy by NHS Liverpool CCG. This success comes after almost two years of our work, and many more years of work by local and national supporters of evidence-based medicine. We’d like to thank everyone who supported our work and made today’s decision possible.”

Salima Budhani from Bindmans LLP, who represented Good Thinking during the 2015 Judicial Review, said of the decision:  “It is good news that Liverpool CCG has decided to terminate funding for homeopathy. However, this decision is the culmination of a long and time-consuming process following its decision at the beginning of last year to maintain funding for homeopathy.  The CCG has faced a judicial review challenge by our client the Good Thinking Society, and has had to carry out a costly public engagement exercise to reach this new decision.

“Our client has previously called upon the Secretary of State for Health to end all NHS funding for homeopathy. Such a decision would be of significant benefit to CCGs which would not need to engage individually in legal challenges and engagement exercises to stop funding a treatment that has no scientific basis.”

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