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Homeopaths lose legal challenge against NHS England

A legal challenge brought by the British Homeopathic Association against NHS England’s decision to remove homeopathic treatments from routine primary care has been dismissed on all points by the High Court. Humanists UK, who launched a petition calling on the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to add homeopathic remedies to the ‘NHS Blacklist’, has welcomed the High Court’s judgement.

In November, the board of NHS England voted to defund homeopathy prescriptions, and recommended that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt blacklist homeopathy from being provided on the NHS at all, following a public consultation that Humanists UK responded to. The British Homeopathic Association brought a legal challenge against the terms of the consultation, which has now been dismissed on all points.

Responding to the High Court’s decision, Chief Executive of NHS England Simon Stevens said: ‘there is no robust evidence to support homeopathy which is at best a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds. So we strongly welcome the High Court’s clear cut decision to kick out this costly and spurious legal challenge.’

Despite the NHS England decision, homeopathy still continues to receive funds in Scotland, London, and South West England. Humanists UK will continue to push for a fully evidence-based approach to public spending and public health, alongside the charity the Good Thinking Society.

Humanists UK’s Campaigns Officer Rachel Taggart-Ryan commented, ‘Homeopathy has long been proven to be a pseudoscience, and one which has no place in an evidence-based, publicly funded health service. In the context of extremely scarce NHS funds, it’s completely right for the NHS to bring wasteful homeopathy spending to an end. We hope that this decision marks an important milestone both for NHS England and evidence-based medicine more generally.’

Notes

For further comment or information contact Humanists UK Campaigns Officer Rachel Taggart-Ryan at rachel@humanism.org.uk or 07951 176 245.

Read more about Humanists UK’s campaign work on ‘complementary and alternative medicine’: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/public-ethical-issues/homeopathy/

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

Humanists UK recently changed its name from the British Humanist Association: https://humanism.org.uk/2017/05/22/bha-becomes-humanists-uk/

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