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NHS bosses demand ‘dangerous’ homeopaths have accreditation revoked

Senior NHS officials have written to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) demanding accreditation of the Society of Homeopaths is revoked when it is due for renewal next year, citing serious concerns about the group’s promotion of anti-vaccine myths.

The PSA is an independent safeguarding organisation that regulates and registers professionals working in the fields of health and social care.

Chief Executive Simon Stevens stated, ‘The PSA accreditation of the Society of Homeopaths gives a false impression to the public that their treatments are clinically and scientifically established and that the treatments practitioners offer should be as trusted as other health and care practitioners accredited by the PSA. This is a vital issue at a time when there is a rise of misinformation about vaccines — some of which is apparently promoted by homeopaths — and which poses a significant danger to human health.’

These comments by the most senior NHS figure follows a legal challenge to the PSA’s decision to re-accredit the Society of Homeopaths launched by the Good Thinking Society, a charity that promotes a rational evidence-based approach to medicine and founded by Humanists UK’s patron Simon Singh.

The legal case centres on the Society’s promotion of CEASE therapy, which stands for Complete Elimination of Austisitic Spectrum Expression, and which not only promotes the false claim that vaccines are linked to the development of autism in children, but that this can be counteracted through high doses of vitamin C, homeopathic pills, and dietary restrictions. At the time, the PSA noted that its accreditation panel ‘had been concerned by the potentially severe health risks posed by CEASE therapy’ as well as concerns about misleading advertising – yet did not revoke its accreditation.

Humanists UK’s Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson commented, ‘We have long campaigned against state endorsement of homeopathy and other pseudoscientific treatments, which can either directly harm patients or encourage them to cease taking evidence-based medicine on which their health could depend.

‘We strongly support the comments made by Simon Stevens. At a time when deadly diseases such as measles are on the rise and vaccine uptake is declining, it is irresponsible for a seal of credibility to be given to organsations like the Society of Homeopaths who continue to promote dangerous “treatments” based on discredited ideas about vaccines causing autism. We call for the PSA to revoke its accreditation.’

Notes:

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at casey@humanism.org.uk or phone 020 7324 3078.

Read the accreditation decision of the Professional Standards Authority.

Read more about Humanists UK’s campaign work on ‘complementary and alternative medicine’.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

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