NHS prescriptions for homeopathy and herbal medicine are under threat.
NHS England is proposing to stop funding for homeopathy and herbal medicine. A three-month consultation ended on 21 October and NHS England is now reviewing all submissions and will be reporting its recommendations to the NHS England Board on the 30th of November. The BHA is campaigning to fight this short-sighted and ill-conceived proposal, and we know many of you share our views and have taken part in the consultation. On behalf of all patients who rely on NHS homeopathy and herbal medicine for their healthcare, we thank you for your support.
Although the consultation has ended, it is important that we keep up the pressure. So if you’ve not signed the parliamentary petition calling on the government to save NHS homeopathy and herbal medicine, please visit our Parliamentary petition, which over 16,800 people have already signed, but the more people who show their concern over this issue by adding their names to the online petition, the greater the likelihood politicians will take notice. The petition closes on 13th March 2018.
We know many people have already written to their local MP and this form of direct of action can really make a difference. If you have yet to contact your MP on this matter, please consider doing so. A short letter or email outlining your concerns will bring the subject cuts to NHS homeopathy services to their attention and hopefully encourage them to support the campaign.
Alternatively, write a letter and address it to:Name MP
House of Commons
When writing to your MP you may want to raise some of these issues:
- There is quality evidence supporting the effectiveness homeopathy – the research evidence base for homeopathy
- Doctors trained in homeopathy have found it to be beneficial in treating a wide range of chronic and acute conditions. Why is their clinical experience ignored?
- The economic argument does not add up. NHS England says it’s putting forward these proposals to cut NHS prescribing costs. But homeopathic medicines are generally less expensive than conventional drugs. Patients deprived of homeopathy will inevitably be prescribed more costly medicines. How is this saving the NHS money?
- In its consultation document, NHS England cited the negative conclusions of the 2010 House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s Evidence Check in homeopathy as the rationale for its proposal to withdraw funding from the therapy. This report was only voted on by four members of the committee (three in favour with one abstention). Seventy MPs signed an Early Day Motion, unhappy at the way the committee conducted its review of the evidence and the government rejected the report.
- No decision about the provision of healthcare services should be based on the conclusions of such a flawed and discredited report which gained such meagre political support.
- Many patients are prescribed homeopathy because they have a low tolerance to conventional drugs and find the treatment beneficial. If these patients, who are often elderly, are no longer able to get homeopathy on prescription, their health will suffer.
NHS England’s proposal will limit patient choice and affect the health of some of the most vulnerable people in society. The BHA is campaigning for funding for homeopathy and herbal medicine to continue. Please do what YOU can to support the campaign.
21st July–21st October 2017 NHS England quietly opens the consultation, now closed.
MP Lobbying You started contacting your MPs, asking them to support our campaign. Please keep up the pressure, as this is no time to get complacent; if you’ve already written to your MP, we ask that you do so again, this time taking the latest developments into account.
Support our legal challenge On the 6th of November, we initiated a legal challenge to NHS England, seeking a judicial review. Our grounds are that the consultations process was flawed from the start, that it did not really seek to engage with consultees, and that it did not provide consultees with adequate and relevant information to provide with which to provide a considered and informed response.
6th December 2017 You’ve helped us surpass our target, raising over £18,000! Thank you for your generosity, this money will help pay for a part of the legal work already undertaken.
30th November 2017 NHS England decides that homeopathic, herbal, and other complementary medicines should not be prescribed. We are still going ahead with our legal challenge, calling for a judicial review of the NHS England consultation. You can still help by signing our petition, helping fund part of our legal costs in fighting this decision, and by raising awareness of this issue.
1st April 2018 Judicial Review hearing scheduled 1st–3rd May 2018, in the Administrative Court at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Any financial support you can offer will not only help us defend the right of patients to choose to be treated with homeopathy on the NHS.
The NHS is choosing to ignore the evidence presented in favour of homeopathy. Don’t take just their word for it, read the evidence for yourself. We’ve prepared a few informative graphics to get you started. Click into the grahic to see a larger version, alternatively we have one you can print out and send to your friends.