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Victory for humanists: NHS England decides to consult on ending homeopathy spending

NHS England has announced that it wants to cease funding homeopathic remedies and other treatments proven to have no efficacy, and has launched a consultation on the matter. The announcement is warmly greeted by Humanists UK, which has campaigned for an end to state funding of homeopathy for many years. In announcing the historic change […]

Homeopathy funding omitted from first wave of NHS spending review

The millions of pounds of public money spent each year on pseudoscientific and disproven homeopathic remedies will not be addressed in the first stage of a national review of National Health Service (NHS) spending in England. Following budget cuts to the health service, NHS England has announced new guidelines which will discourage GPs from prescribing treatments […]

State-funded homeopathy no longer available in the North of England

Homeopathy is no longer available on the National Health Service for patients living in the North of England, following an announcement that the Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has chosen to defund the scientifically unsupported treatment. The result is that in England only NHS Trusts around Bristol and London continue funding homeopathy, and the Bristol trusts are […]

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 […]

Outgoing scientific adviser criticises homeopathy

The use of homoeopathy by the NHS has been described as ‘mad’ by Professor Sir John Beddington, a former Government scientific adviser.  Sir John has also criticised the Government for ignoring his advice against the NHS funding of homeopathy.  The British Humanist Association (BHA), which opposes the NHS funding of homeopathy, welcomes Sir John’s comments. […]

Homeopathy challenged in House of Lords debate

BHA Distinguished Supporter and All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) member Lord Taverne has challenged the Government on the use of homeopathy in the NHS.  Lord Taverne took part in a House of Lords debate on homeopathy on Tuesday, and asked a question about the removal of evidence-based advice on homeopathy from the NHS Choices […]

England’s chief medical officer tells Commons Science and Technology committee that homeopathy ‘is rubbish.’

Yesterday, Professor Dame Sally Davies suggested that there is no evidence to support the claim that homeopathic remedies have any medical impact beyond the placebo effect, and condemned the public funding the controversial treatment receives. She told the committee, ‘I am perpetually surprised that homeopathy is available on the NHS.’ Much scientific evidence has been […]

State-funded Steiner schools teach science from book sceptical of evolution, give homeopathy to students

The Steiner Academy Hereford, the first state-funded Steiner school, teaches science from a curriculum book sceptical of evolution and gives homeopathy to students, the British Humanist Association (BHA) can reveal.

UPDATED! Ask your MP to make a stand and say: No more NHS funding of homeopathy or research into it!

David Tredennick MP, a keen advocate of homeopathy, has tabled an ‘Early Day Motion’ in support of the NHS funding more research into homeopathy

No plans for homeopathy in Oxfordshire welcomed by the BHA

Confirmation by a local health authority that complementary or alternatives therapies will not be offered has been welcomed by the British Humanist Association (BHA).
Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust has confirmed that homeopathic treatments will not be offered as an alternative to conventional therapies as there is a lack of evidence for their effectiveness.

The announcement comes shortly after the government’s response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s highly critical report of homeopathy. The committee’s report found ‘systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclusively demonstrate that homeopathic products perform no better than placebos’. The government response did not recommend that the NHS should cease funding homeopathic treatments but rather deferred the responsibility on whether to permit the use of homeopathic products to local health authorities.

Naomi Philips, BHA Head of Public Affairs, welcomed NHS Oxfordshire’s decision: ‘The NHS Constitution is explicit in the patient’s ‘right to expect local decisions on funding of other drugs and treatments to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence’, and we are glad to see these principles being respected in this instance. All the evidence suggests that homeopathic treatments do not work.’

‘Ultimately, we believe it important that the government should adopt the conclusions of their own Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor John Beddington, who has stated that there is no evidence base for homeopathy or reason for its continued use. In the meantime, it is important local health authorities explicitly state they will not provide homeopathic services.’

NHS funding of homeopathy puts ‘patient choice’ above evidence of effectiveness

Homeopathy has no place in a modern state-funded health service unless clear evidence of its effectiveness can be demonstrated, the British Humanist Association (BHA) has reiterated today. The BHA has commented in light of the coalition government’s response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee’s highly critical report on homeopathy.

The government response acknowledges the lack of evidence supporting homeopathy but insists that patient choice, rather than the efficacy of a medicine, is a guiding factor in the commissioning of services, and that decisions concerning the use of homeopathic services are to be deferred to local Primary Care Trusts. Although the government recognises that the majority of independent scientists have found ‘evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy to be weak or absent, and that there is currently no plausible scientific mechanism for homeopathy’, this informed body of evidence has not been adopted as government policy.

Naomi Phillips, the BHA’s Head of Public Affairs commented, ‘We believe the government should be sending a clear and unequivocal message that homeopathy does not work and that it should stop NHS funding of homeopathic remedies altogether, instead of permitting continued funding for homeopathy under the rubric of patient choice. The commissioning of services that are known not to work is irrational, ethically questionable, and it may divert funds away from services that are of proven value.’

Humanists welcome doctors’ call to stop NHS funding of homeopathy

The NHS must stop funding homeopathy, doctors at the British Medical Association (BMA) annual conference have said today. Doctors voted 3 to 1 to ban NHS funding for homeopathic remedies.

Naomi Phillips, BHA Head of Public Affairs, said, ‘We support the BMA in today’s clear call to stop the NHS funding homeopathy. It is outrageous that NHS is funding the provision and testing of treatments that have no evidential basis in their claims of effectiveness.’
‘We are working with other organisations, as well as our membership and supporters, to campaign to ensure that NHS funding is not directed towards treatments such as homeopathic ones that have not been proven to work, or on research that is not backed up by scientific evidence.’

Ms Phillips continued, ‘Whether NHS or privately funded, it is also our position that where homeopathic products are sold in pharmacies, pharmacists have a duty to tell patients that homeopathic products and treatments are not effective.’

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