Liverpool NHS Clinical Commissioning Group threatened with legal action after spending £30,000 a year on homeopathy

The Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been threatened with legal action after spending £30,000 a year on homeopathy-based treatments. The funding came despite the fact that the NHS’s own advice states ‘there is no good quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition’.

After the Good Thinking Society, which estimates £4 million is spent on homeopathy by different NHS trusts each year, wrote to the CCG threatening a judicial review of its decision to fund the practice, Liverpool CCG has since pledged to reconsider its expenditure. In a statement, a spokesman said that the treatment ‘benefits a small number of patients in the city who choose to access NHS homeopathy care and treatment services’, but pledged to ‘carry out further engagement with patients and the general public to inform our future commissioning intentions for this service.’

A great deal of evidence has been put forward showing that homeopathy is no more effective than a placebo and the NHS has faced numerous calls to cease funding the practice in recent years. The current Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, has previously said that she is ‘perpetually surprised that homeopathy is available on the NHS’, while the British Medical Association called on the NHS to stop funding homeopathy in 2010.

Responding to the news, British Humanist Association Director of Public Affairs and Campaigns Pavan Dhaliwal said, ‘The fact that some NHS trusts continue to spend money on treatments known to be ineffective at a time when the health service is facing tremendous financial pressure is astonishing. Not only is this wasteful, but it could even put public health at risk. Public money could be better spent providing treatments that have been proven to work.’

Notes

For further comment or information contact Pavan Dhaliwal, Director of Public Affairs and Campaigns at pavan@humanism.org.uk.

Our campaign on homeopathy: http://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/ethical-and-scientific-issues/homeopathy/

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

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