Archive for the ‘BHA Blog’ Category

NHS Liverpool homeopathy consultation

A supporter of NHS homeopathy gives his personal account of the public meeting in Liverpool that was part of the local CCG’s consultation on the future of the city’s NHS homeopathy service.

The Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) public meeting to discuss the future of the city’s NHS homeopathy service took place at the Quaker Meeting House on 4th December.  I was present with 40 or so other attendees including three representatives from the CCG. We were fortunate to have the clinical lead from the Liverpool NHS homeopathy service, consultant Dr Hugh Nielsen and GP/homeopath Dr Sue de Lacy, along with retired consultant Dr Amitav Ghosh. Also attending were three representatives of the Good Thinking Society, who also belong to the Merseyside Skeptics Society.

The meeting began with one of the CCG representatives using a Powerpoint presentation to put forward the argument that homeopathy was just the placebo effect, underpinned by the lengthy consultation that homeopathic doctors have with their patients.  To support this view she quoted in some detail the negative findings from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s report into homeopathy. From the outset it was fairly apparent to everyone in the room that the meeting was loaded in favour of the CCG’s preferred option to stop funding the service.

It was then suggested all the participants form small discussion groups and provide feedback to the CCG committee.  I must admit it felt a bit like being back at school.

At this point all hell broke out! Firstly, the chairman of the Northwest Friends of Homeopathy, John Cook, very loudly but eloquently, boomed that the whole meeting was just a paper exercise to keep everyone “under the thumb”. He demanded to know why we should all be put into small groups around tables, when we should be having a democratic and open forum where everyone present could have their say and have the opportunity to put the case for homeopathy if they so wished. He went on to say the CCG had no right to publish in the local press their preferred option of closing Liverpool’s NHS homeopathy service, and that this amounted to a fait accompli which was in breach of the democratic process.

The three CCG representatives were visibly surprised by the strong feelings in the room, for by this time many patients were loudly voicing their disdain for the CCG’s consultation procedure. Then two ladies, both former cancer patients, expressed how their lives had been extended for over ten years thanks to the regular treatment they received from the NHS homeopathy service, and how without homeopathy they doubted whether they would be alive today. After some deliberation the CCG reluctantly agreed to a 50/50 compromise, where half the time would be dedicated to an open forum, and the other half to around the table discussions and feedback.

The meeting proceeded with the open forum. First to speak was Dr Hugh Nielson who reminded the audience that when the House of Commons Science and Technology report was published many MPs dismissed it on the grounds that it was biased. He went on to quote figures showing how widely homeopathy is used in several European countries and in India. He also presented scientific evidence supporting homeopathy as an effective treatment beyond placebo.  At this point the sceptic group made what I can only describe as sixth form schoolboy comments and became somewhat disruptive. However, those indomitable Liverpool ladies who had benefited from NHS homeopathic treatment quickly responded with an effective verbal broadside!

Dr Sue de Lacy addressed the meeting from a GP’s perspective and gave examples of illnesses she had seen respond to homeopathic treatment, often after conventional treatment had failed. The floor was then opened for discussion and we heard several moving testimonies from patients with chronic illnesses who had benefited from NHS homeopathy. One young man said he was originally a sceptic himself, but had completely changed his mind after having been treated with homeopathy in recent years.

When I had the opportunity to speak, I challenged the sceptics to explain the positive results from a double-blind trial in the homeopathic treatment of mastitis in cattle.  I also pointed out that if the so-called “extended consultation” caused a placebo effect, how could this explain the results in the cattle trial?  One of the sceptics responded by more or less suggesting that the positive effect in cattle trials was somehow due to the farmer’s influence, which is of course ridiculous when speaking about a whole herd of animals.

I then asked the sceptics how they could explain in scientific terms the positive effects of counselling and psychotherapy. They were noticeably stumped! I followed this up by asking why homeopathy was being singled out, when the CCG offers many far more expensive treatments that too had an inconclusive evidence base. Again they were stumped!

The CCG representatives left the meeting in no doubt of how strong patient support is for the NHS Liverpool homeopathy service. The CCG consultation continues until 22nd December. Liverpool CCG is seeking the views of patients, the public and others with an interest in homeopathy on the future of the service in the city. You can take part in the consultation by visiting this Liverpool CCG link.

Ken Ward-Atherton

Response to DH’s planned consultation

In response to news reports that the Department of Health is planning a consultation on whether to “blacklist” homeopathic medicines, the president of the Faculty of Homeopathy has issued the following statement:

It’s disappointing that at a time when the NHS is facing a funding crisis the Department of Health (DH) is embarking on a costly consultation that could prevent highly skilled clinicians prescribing a course of treatment that benefits thousands of patients each year. If the DH were serious about saving money surely it should be looking at SSRIs, prescribed for mild to moderate depression in vast quantities at considerable cost to the NHS, but which studies have found to be ineffective for those conditions?

Dr Helen Beaumont
President of the Faculty of Homeopathy

 

Lothian ruling statement

Lord Uist’s ruling dismissing the call for a judicial review of NHS Lothian’s decision to cease provision of its homeopathy service is a major blow, not only for the sick 74-year-old woman who was courageous enough to take on the health board and bring the case, but for all who believe in patient choice.

The basis for the legal challenge was NHS Lothian’s apparent failure to take into account its public sector equality duty in reaching its decision; specifically, its highly inaccurate assertion that patients who used the homeopathy service tended to be more affluent members of the community and therefore could afford to pay for the treatment privately – an assertion that the health board failed to back up with any supporting evidence. While ignoring this argument Lord Uist appears to have made a judgement on the efficacy of homeopathy which throws into question Lord Uist’s focus and objectivity in making his final judgement.

Naturally the British Homeopathic Association is disappointed by this ruling, but it must be remembered that the real losers are those patients in Lothian whose health has benefited from NHS homeopathy and are now being deprived of the treatment because, like the patient Honor Watt who challenged NHS Lothian, they cannot afford to get the care privately that they once received through the NHS.

British Homeopathic Association

In dispute with the BHA

No we’ve not fallen out with ourselves.

The BHA to which I refer is the British Humanist Association, a registered charity that according to the mission statement on its website believes in “equal treatment of everyone regardless of religion or belief”. That is unless you are a patient in Liverpool seeking treatment from the city’s NHS homeopathy service. For the Humanists appear to have abandoned its egalitarian views to support a campaign to force Liverpool CCG to withdraw funding from a homeopathic clinic that has benefitted hundreds of patients over many years.

Although the service is provided by medically trained doctors with years of clinical experience, the Humanists haven’t sought out their views – or that of their patients – before coming to a decision, preferring instead to base their position on highly prejudiced statements from an anti-homeopathy campaign group called the Good Thinking Society, none of whom appear to have any medical training whatsoever. This seems somewhat at odds with one of the Humanists’ guiding principles that affirms their belief in “engaging in debate rationally, intelligently, and with attention to evidence”.

Before publicising its support for the campaign to deprive the people of Liverpool of their NHS homeopathy service did the Humanists engage in rational, intelligent debate with any proponents of homeopathy or genuinely evaluate all of the evidence? Sadly, no! Again this appears contrary to another of their cherished values: “… being cooperative, working with others of different beliefs for the common good”.

The Humanists also say they believe in “recognising the dignity of individuals and treating them with fairness and respect”. The tearful 94-year-old lady from Liverpool, who called our offices, distraught at the prospect of losing access to the NHS homeopathic treatment she receives for her rheumatoid arthritis, would no doubt dispute this.

We have written to the British Humanist Association explaining our point of view and detailing the factual inaccuracies contained in the statements they have issued about homeopathy. They responded saying their stance is the “only reasonable and humane position” that they could take.

The leadership of the British Humanist Association certainly espouses a strange brand of humanity.

Margaret Wyllie
British Homeopathic Association, chairman

Our response to NHMRC’s position statement

The Australian NHMRC’s statement seriously misrepresents the nature of the clinical research evidence in homeopathy. The NHMRC’s conclusion fails to caution that its review admitted that ‘the evidence base for the majority of clinical conditions was considered of insufficient size to enable clear conclusions on the efficacy of homeopathy to be drawn’.

Moreover, the review’s focus on medical conditions fails to recognise that homeopathy is based on individualised treatment, not on a named medical condition. A recent meta-analysis published by the British Homeopathic Association (http://goo.gl/L4Bguw) has provided independently verified evidence that individually prescribed homeopathic medicines may have clinical effects that are greater than those of placebos.

The NHMRC’s statement also fails to note that its review commended further quality research in homeopathy.

Homeopathy – the natural career choice

When I made the decision to study medicine I thought that if I qualified as a GP I would be satisfied with the type of doctor I had become. As I acquired more experience though, my initial enthusiasm on qualifying was replaced with disappointment when I realised the limitations of orthodox medicine. I saw increasingly that patients were presenting with recurrent symptoms and complex conditions that were difficult to improve.

I therefore began searching for another way to practise medicine that would complement the skills and knowledge I already had while also providing me with the means to better help my patients. A talk by an experienced homeopath to my local sessional GP group inspired me so much to learn more that I enrolled on a foundation course provided by the Faculty of Homeopathy.

Attending the course I was immediately captivated listening to what Samuel Hahnemann achieved all those years ago that was still so relevant today. When I learnt that in the practice of homeopathy it is important to assess a patient as a whole and that remedies were based upon an individual’s experience of their illness, rather than just their illness, I knew instinctively that I had found the way to practise medicine that I had been searching for.

I feel that practising homeopathy will provide me with far greater job satisfaction. This will come from improving as a doctor, as I will have a wider range of therapeutic options to offer patients and have a more thorough understanding of my patients and their problems. Another wonderful benefit is that I will be part of a national and international community of healthcare professionals with the same ideals as me regarding patient care.

For my patients I feel homeopathy will offer them a better quality of healthcare, better health outcomes and thus a better quality of life. I think they will appreciate being able to discuss their symptoms more openly, knowing that all their symptoms are relevant to the problems they are experiencing. I hope they will also feel more satisfied that they are being respected as individuals and receiving treatments that are unique to their symptoms and personalities.

I feel very fortunate to have discovered homeopathy as it is a way of practising medicine that is truly patient centred and considers the patient as a whole. I look forward again with enthusiasm and excitement to what my career now holds, and by training in homeopathy I hope that one day I’ll become the doctor I’ve always wished to be.

Dr Michel Raggoo, GP

The Snooks have arrived!

Homeopathy has some new supporters – the Snooks. This group of colourful cartoon characters appeared during Homeopathy Awareness Week (June 14-21) in three short animated films. The Snooks deliver simple but important messages about homeopathy in a light-hearted and engaging manner.

The key messages communicated in the animations are:

  • Homeopathy is about treating the individual
  • Homeopathy works
  • Millions of people successfully use homeopathy.

The films were the idea of the 4Homeopathy group, which wanted to find a way of communicating positive messages about homeopathy to the social media generation and potentially reach a huge audience. Although animation has been used to deliver important health messages for many years, I must confess that as the BHA’s communications officer I did at first have some misgivings as to whether this approach would appear too frivolous for some practitioners of the healing art. However, the quality of films did go some considerable way to allaying my doubts.

The Snooks were created by animator and director Sam Norland, who has worked for such notable clients as the V&A, Virgin Media, Nissan and Hat Trick Productions. As well as being the creative force behind the films, Sam is also an advocate of the health benefits that homeopathy can provide and says he was only too pleased to do something to help make more people aware of this natural form of medicine.

Each film has a commentary which was recorded by another ardent supporter of homeopathy, voice-over artist Jacqueline Cloake. Jacquline has used homeopathic medicine for years and was so thrilled to be able to help out she kindly donated her time for the project.

Finally, my initial reservations as to how the films would be received proved groundless, as the feedback from members of the public and the homeopathic community has been overwhelmingly positive.

One of the animated films is currently on the home page. To see all three, visit www.youtube.com/user/FindaHomeopath. So why not take a look and then send the link to your friends and family? With your help the Snooks may even end up going viral and become a worldwide phenomenon!

John Burry
Communications Officer

Snooks pic

In praise of homeopathy

Hi, my name is James McMurray and I’m a community pharmacist.  I qualified in 2008 and, after a few years of working for a pharmacy chain, I decided I would like to do further training.

Community pharmacy is not just about filling prescriptions and shop selling. There has been a movement to increase our involvement in managing chronic conditions, and also in helping people choose medicines for minor things.

The best part of my job is helping people. However, the complex conditions patients suffered from – and their related personal, social and sometimes even spiritual problems – could baffle and overwhelm me. I was looking for a new perspective on this, and on the meaning of health and illness itself.

About this time, I became unwell and sadly found little relief. On a suggestion I went to see a doctor who was a member of the Faculty of Homeopathy.

I liked the way the doctor took my case; asking me what had changed, what I liked to do and what I was like as a person. He explained he would choose a medicine that reflected as much of this information as possible.

I knew very little about homeopathy; it had been mentioned only briefly when I was an undergraduate. So I looked into getting additional training and enrolled on the medical homeopathy course at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine.

The course is fascinating, informative and, above all, practical. To learn homeopathy from knowledgeable and inspiring practitioners, in such an historic surrounding, has been one of the best experiences I’ve had. It’s definitely the most I have ever enjoyed learning and found it especially uplifting, considering my targets for reviews of medicines use, prescription sign-ups and customer care surveys had been getting me down a little.

Soon I was able to integrate homeopathy into minor ailments advice. If I was sure it was appropriate and safe, I tried to recommend a remedy along with all my other advice and product suggestions. I received great feedback from customers – and still do. It’s very special when someone comes in just to let you know you have helped them.

Also, I was able to extend my interest in medicine generally. I found myself starting to understand patients on an individual level, not just as sufferers of this or that disease but as people. This really helped me put my work into a new perspective and become more empathetic and resilient.

The “soft skills” of history taking I learnt on the course have helped me in every aspect of my work with the public. Learning about the history of homeopathy led to an interest in Anthroposophic therapies – it has really widened my view of medicine and life.

Though I find this interesting and sustaining, I’d like to emphasise that homeopathy isn’t just an abstraction: it’s a science and an applied therapy that has helped both me and many of my patients on a day to day basis.

James McMurray
Pharmacist

McMurray James

[Photo: Barry Wright Photography]

Walking the dog for the BHA

As a lover of homeopathy and a trustee of the BHA, I’m always looking for new ways to help raise funds for our wonderful charity. It is difficult fundraising for something as complex as homeopathy; after all, what does it mean? For people who are not aware of what homeopathy is or does, it means nothing. It’s not like we’re raising money for sick or starving children, emotive causes that everyone understandably wants to support.

The BHA is not what you would call a “heartstring” charity. For that reason I feel it is even more important to make an effort to try and help the BHA raise money so that it can continue with its important work. We don’t have millions of pounds coming in from high-profile celebrity-led campaigns or gala dinners, so we need to do it ourselves.

Although homeopathy is often misunderstood and misrepresented, it really is an effective therapy. I should know, as I was disabled from head-to-toe with crippling rheumatoid arthritis but am now in remission. So that is why I feel I need to do all I can to help the BHA raise funds that will go towards research, education and helping people find homeopathy.

For this reason I decided to do a sponsored dog walk. On a beautiful day at the beginning of May, around 25 people joined me and my two pet dogs, Milo and Kia, at Mill Hill Park in North West London. Many people brought their own dogs, while others just came along to show support. Wearing our “Homeopathy Works” T-shirts and muddy wellies we walked around the park for about an hour, stopping occasionally to give water and treats to the dogs.

Everyone taking part, canine and human, had a great time! One thing about having dogs is no matter how you’re feeling, you have to get out of the house and walk them. And a little bit of fresh air does everyone good, so we all felt pretty invigorated by the end. More importantly, lots of people who couldn’t make the event donated online through the Virgin Money Giving page I had set up especially.

We didn’t raise thousands of pounds, just a few hundred, but every few hundred pounds raised quickly adds up to a larger amount that can make a real difference in helping to promote homeopathy.

If you love homeopathy or are a supporter of the BHA, why not organise your own small fundraising event? And Homeopathy Awareness Week (June 14–21) is the perfect opportunity to do this, as the BHA will be giving an award to the most inspiring, original or successful fundraising ideas. It can be a sponsored dog walk, like I did, or a coffee morning, a bake sale or a footie match, or even a film night where all your friends donate! You could even get the kids to do a chocolate ban or sponsored silence at school! As a well-known supermarket says, “Every little helps!”

Lauren Vaknine

dog-walking-pic-lauren

[Lauren Vaknine with Milo & Kia]

It’s not too late to show support for Lauren and the BHA.
Make a donation at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/laurenVaknine

If you are thinking of organising your own fundraising event and would like to receive the BHA’s fundraising pack, please contact Tracey Simmons at tsimmons@britishhomeopathic.org or call 01582 408681.

Australian report misrepresents clinical research evidence in homeopathy

Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the country’s leading medical research body, is conducting systematic reviews of existing systematic reviews to formulate formal position statements on the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, safety and quality of complementary therapies, including homeopathy.

The British Homeopathic Association (BHA) actively encourages all serious scientific studies into homeopathy and other complementary therapies. In anticipation of the publication, however, the organisation’s Research Development Adviser, Dr Robert Mathie, had expressed reservation about the nature of the research being conducted by the NHMRC. “A review that relies solely on the evidence contained in published systematic reviews is wholly dependent on the scope, focus and quality of those published reviews”, he said. “Given that a review of reviews is two stages removed from the original clinical trial evidence, it has the potential to misrepresent the totality of the relevant research”.

With a draft of the NHMRC’s report now in the public domain, Dr Mathie’s concerns have proved to be well founded. The report’s overarching conclusion is problematic: “There is a paucity of good-quality studies of sufficient size that examine the effectiveness of homeopathy as a treatment for any clinical condition in humans. The available evidence is not compelling and fails to demonstrate that homeopathy is an effective treatment for any of the reported clinical conditions in humans.”

The NHMRC report does not adequately reflect the original research, its intrinsic quality, its context or the type of homeopathy studied. Moreover, the absence of meta-analysis on the original studies means that the magnitude and significance of treatment effect is not addressed. The currently available evidence may not be compelling overall, but it does not fail to demonstrate that homeopathy is an effective treatment: it indicates a positive balance of evidence in a number of medical conditions, and equivocal or negative conclusions in others. In order to clarify matters, including the impact of trial quality on results, the BHA is currently conducting its own systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials  in homeopathy.

British Homeopathic Association

GP embarks on marathon walk for the BHA

Dr Katalin Borbely is embarking on a marathon walk to raise funds for the British Homeopathic Association (BHA). The doctor, who runs the BHA funded clinic in Norwich, is setting off on 29 March from the Spanish city of Leon to walk 220 miles to the shrine at Santiago de Compostela, the reputed burial place of James the Great, one of Christ’s apostles.

The long, arduous trek will see her follow the same route that has been taken by Christian pilgrims for centuries and which is also known as the Way of St James.

Katalin is planning to walk up to 20 miles a day, depending on the terrain, and hopes to complete her marathon walk in two weeks. In preparation for her gruelling challenge she has been working with her friend Claire Thomson, a personal trainer and former 2012 Olympic torch bearer.

“Although I used to be a runner and am quite fit, I do need some special preparations as I broke my vertebrae and some bones in a car accident in 1999,” says Katalin. “I will also make sure I have a selection of homeopathic remedies with me in the event I suffer from any aches, strains or bruises.”

As a charity the BHA relies on generous donations and the fundraising efforts of its supporters to enable it to fulfil its aims:

  • Promote wider access to homeopathy for everyone
  • Encourage more research
  • Provide high quality information to the public
  • Educate healthcare professionals about homeopathy

To support Katalin and the BHA you can make a donation online at www.virginmoneygiving.com/KatalinBorbely

British Homeopathic Association

Blog-march-2014-Katalin Borbely_Claire Thomson_Photo by KATALIN KAROLYI

[Photo: Katalin Karolyi]

Jane Gilchrist

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Jane Gilchrist, one of homeopathy’s most vocal and passionate supporters.

Jane was nearing 101 years of age when she died and had lived a very colourful and not very conventional life. A fighter, who loved a cause to battle for, Jane always said that if the NHS Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM) was ever threatened with closure, she would chain herself to the railings in protest! Even in her nineties she took part in marches calling for more homeopathy on the NHS.

A life-long socialist and admirer of Che Guevara, she trained as a political rally speaker in her youth and this stood her in good stead throughout the many campaigns she fought during her long life. Whether she was in the street or the supermarket she would always strike up conversations with people to inform them about homeopathy. Her commitment to the homeopathic cause even saw her speak in defence of the therapy at a meeting at the House of Commons, where she received a standing ovation.

In a life replete with achievement, Jane always maintained that her foremost accomplishment was the creation of an NHS homeopathy clinic in Bromley, Kent. Sadly this was closed in 2005, but right up until the time of her death she was still working on ways to get it re-opened.

Her love for the RLHIM and admiration for its doctors and staff is clearly seen in her long association with the “Friends” (Friends of the RLHIM, a charity that supports the hospital’s patients as well as its aims and development), serving as a trustee for over 30 years and then as a vice-president. She organised and ran the snack bar on the third floor and was always ready to listen and advise while serving tea or coffee. In April 2013, just before her 100th birthday, she was the speaker at the Friends’ AGM, where she impressed everyone with her zest for life and dedication to the RLHIM and homeopathy.

Jane’s presence at the RLHIM will be greatly missed, but her spirit and passion for what she believed in will always remain as part of the fabric of the hospital.

British Homeopathic Association

Jane Gilchrist's 100th Birthday

Jane at her 100th birthday party last year

[Photo: Jennifer Hurstfield]

BHA’s musical evening hits all the right notes

Homeopathy is often described as the healing art, so it was fitting that music was central to the BHA’s first fundraising event in several years, which took place in mid-November. The aim, of course, was to raise funds for the BHA, but at the same time we wanted to promote greater awareness of homeopathy and have some fun.

The BHA is currently planning a range of fundraising events, and the musical evening was very much a trial event to gauge its popularity with a view to holding similar events across the UK. Therefore a venue local to where the BHA’s offices are based in Luton was chosen, but even so people travelled from London, Birmingham and Leicester to attend.

At the beginning of the evening the BHA’s Chief Executive, Cristal Sumner, welcomed everyone and explained a little about the BHA and its aims.

The musical entertainment was provided by local singer Gary Williams. He immediately got everyone in the party spirit with his excellent renditions of songs by Elvis, UB40, Buddy Holly and Neil Diamond, to name but a few. The dance floor was full all night, with many people displaying some pretty impressive dance moves as they gyrated, shimmied and syncopated to timeless classics such as Sweet Caroline, Stuck In The Middle With You and Can’t Help Falling In Love.

A delicious buffet was served and there was also a raffle which was generously supported. Lucky winners went away with a selection of prizes including wine, whisky, chocolates and that must-have fashion item for 2014, the BHA T-shirt* (have you got yours yet?).

Everyone had a fantastic time and we succeeded in raising a total of £235. Not bad for a first effort! News of future BHA fundraising events will be appearing on this website and in the BHA’s magazine Health and Homeopathy.

Fundraiser Two Jan-14

*To order your BHA T-shirt call 01582 408681 or email tsimmons@britishhomeopathic.org

Tracey Simmons
Fundraising Officer

The BHA goes to Norwich

This autumn, the first of what we hope will be a series of regional events to promote homeopathy and other CAM therapies to the public and the healthcare profession took place in Norwich.

Norwich was chosen to stage the first events because that is where the BHA funded homeopathic clinic is located. The events were very different and held over two days at the city’s Assembly House.

The first event was a reception for the patients and supporters of the Norwich homeopathic clinic and was hosted by Dr Katalin Borbely who runs the clinic. Guests were welcomed by the BHA’s chairman, John Cook. They enjoyed afternoon tea and the opportunity to discuss the work of the clinic, NHS policy on homeopathy and integrative care, and the challenges currently faced by the homeopathic community.

All who attended were effusive in their praise of Dr Borbely’s work at the clinic and keen to pledge their continued support. Furthermore, many guests commented on how delighted they were to have been given the opportunity to meet other supporters of the clinic.

The following day the people of Norwich and local healthcare professionals came along to learn more about homeopathy and other complementary therapies. They heard a number of speakers including Dr Sara Eames talking about homeopathy; Sue Saunders, vice-principal of the Homeopathic College of East Anglia, who spoke on natural fertility; and Dr Simon Heyhoe from the University Hospital Colchester, who highlighted the clinical and economic benefits of acupuncture in NHS practice. Other speakers included the clinical hypnotherapist Irina Valentino, osteopath William Allchin and the medical herbalist Andrew Chevallier.

Following the success of our two days in Norwich, the BHA is planning similar events in other parts of the country. If you would like a BHA event to take place in the town or city where you live, please email info@britishhomeopathic.org with your ideas.

For more information about the BHA’s Norwich homeopathic clinic, please click here.

Blog Dec 2013 pic
Dr. Katalin Borbely speaking at event

Lilia Russell
Executive Assistant to Chief Executive

Tracey’s charity cycle challenge

After taking on a new role at the British Homeopathic Association as Fundraising Manager, I thought I’d better have a think about what I could do to raise some funds for the BHA myself.

It seemed like a good opportunity to try out the newly designed fundraising pack, so that’s where I began. It was easy to follow and I soon narrowed my options down to three. Eventually I decided I would abandon my car and cycle to work for the whole of the month of August, whatever the weather! This would involve a daily round trip of eight miles, which means over the month I would cycle a total of 176 miles.

As I had not cycled regularly since I was a teenager I thought I had better do some training, so every weekend – and some evenings – I was out on my bike to prepare for my challenge.

Before I knew it, August had arrived. At first I was apprehensive about cycling through the rush-hour traffic and more than a little relieved when I was safely home with the first day done. After that, I really began to enjoy it. There’s something very satisfying about cycling past a queue of slow moving or stalled traffic!

The month didn’t pass without event: the hottest day for 10 years, a torrential thunderstorm and various obstacles including jaywalking pedestrians and inconsiderate drivers, in addition to being plagued by a swarm of insects.

Overall, I really enjoyed the experience, got a bit fitter and felt like I had achieved something. More importantly, I raised a total of £884 for the BHA, so that made it even more worthwhile.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who sponsored me on my cycle challenge. And if you were thinking of making a donation but didn’t get around to it, it’s not too late.

Just visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TraceySimmons.

Alternatively, you can email me at tsimmons@britishhomeopathic.org or call on 01582 408681.

Cycling to work for the BHA blog Oct 2013

Tracey Simmons
Fundraising Manager
British Homeopathic Association

New beginnings

Hope you like our new blog on our new website. It’s a new beginning for the website which is now easier to use so you can get the information you need more quickly. I quite like the slider and videos on the homepage and the map in the find a practitioner section is pretty cool. It has taken a lot of work and it was with a bit of trepidation going live but we are excited to hear what you think about the site.

Parenting can be scary too. This time last year I was a new mother with a two-month-old baby to look after and it was all still rather new and nerve-wracking. Now my daughter is fourteen months old and on the brink of walking. With babies and children there is always something new happening. First they roll over, then they sit up, suddenly they can crawl (and at speed) and then they can stand up. Parenting is a constant roll of new beginnings, once you get used to things being one way they suddenly change.

Whoever you are, parenting can be a challenge as I’m sure William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are finding out now with little George. The worst bit for me was lack of sleep, though thankfully I am one of those people who can sleep in the day while the baby is asleep.  I imagine Kate has a nanny who can get up in the night, though I did hear they want to be more “hands-on” and not have as much help as you’d usually expect with members of the Royal Family.

The Royal Family are known to use homeopathy as part of their healthcare and it can help with those minor ailments that all babies get  from time to time, such as teething, nappy rash and coughs and colds. Many parents are wary of giving their children conventional medicines too often; I only give my daughter Calpol if she definitely needs it, so homeopathy is a safe and gentle alternative.

But homeopathy is not just for babies and children; it is suitable for all ages. So if you’ve not used homeopathy before, why not give it a go. It will be a new beginning to how you approach your personal healthcare that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Lisa Peacock
Mother and BHA staff member

Welcome to the BHA’s new website.

The website is still packed with information about homeopathy but now has a bright modern look, with a layout designed to make it easier to navigate around the site and help you quickly find what you are looking for.

Founded over a century ago, the BHA is a registered charity set up to promote wider access to homeopathy, provide quality information to the public, encourage more research and educate medical professionals about homeopathy. Our membership is made up of members of the public, patients who have benefited  from homeopathy and healthcare professionals who use it in their practice. If you share our aims, why not join them and become a member of the BHA.

The BHA blog is a  new feature on the website through which we will keep you up to date with all the latest news, share our thoughts on issues relating to homeopathy, and keep you informed  of the BHA’s campaigns and events, plus much, much more. A number of authors will be writing the blog entries among whom will be individuals who are keen to share their experience of how homeopathy has benefited them.  Our next post will be looking at how mothers have found homeopathy useful for a range of common childhood health problems – so don’t miss it.

I hope you like our new website and will become a regular reader of the BHA’s blog.

John Cook

John Cook
Chairman, British Homeopathic Association