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Campaigners fighting to retain NHS funding for homeopathy in Lothian have taken their fight to the Scottish Parliament.
The MSP for Midlothian, Rhona Brankin, invited campaign leaders along with supporters, patients and a number of Faculty members to the Holyrood parliament building to address a group of Lothian MSPs. Following the meeting, Rhona Brankin tabled the following parliamentary motion: Parliament views with concern the proposal made by NHS Lothian to withdraw funding from the Lothian Homeopathy Clinic based at the Dalkeith Medical Centre; considers that many patients from Lothian and the Borders have benefited from the services provided there and would welcome a continuation of the service in order that patients in the east of Scotland are not required to travel to Glasgow for homeopathic treatment on the NHS.
A further development has seen the Midlothian Community Health Partnership express concerns over the lack of consultation in the process adopted by the Lothian Health Board to get NHS funding withdrawn. Consequently, supporters of the Lothian Homeopathy Clinic will be allowed to formally put their case forward to the Board before any final decision is made.
Sefton and The Wirral
Supporters of homeopathy in the northwest are still fighting on two fronts.
With the contract governing the provision of homeopathy services for people living on the Wirral ending at the end of March 2011, campaigners are keeping up the pressure to ensure their views are heard by the local PCT. But a recent development has complicated any future negotiations. Liverpool Community Health, who currently run the homeopathy service in the area including the Wirral, have indicated they no longer want to “manage” the Department of Homeopathic Medicine. Although Liverpool Community Health informed Liverpool PCT of this earlier this year, as yet the PCT has not come back with any proposals as to who should be responsible for the service.
At the same time, the campaign to restore Sefton PCT funding to the Old Swan Homeopathy Clinic continues. In November, John Cook addressed a meeting of the Sefton Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, where he once again stressed the deep dissatisfaction felt by many people at the lack of consultation before the decision was taken to withdraw funding for Sefton patients.