The British Homeopathic Association (BHA) – a charity that supports patients’ rights to homeopathic treatment on the NHS – is awaiting judgement on its legal challenge to NHS England’s 2017 consultation that ended with a recommendation that GPs should not prescribe homeopathic medicines.
After four days of lengthy and detailed legal arguments at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, Mr Justice Supperstone adjourned the court to consider his judgement.
Cristal Sumner, BHA chief executive, said: “We are confident of a positive outcome. We took the difficult decision to bring this case because we had ample evidence to demonstrate NHS England failed to properly consult on its proposal to ban prescriptions for homeopathic medicine which, since being implemented, has had an adverse effect on patients’ health.”
The BHA commenced an application for judicial review in October 2017 on the basis that NHS England’s consultation was fundamentally flawed from the outset. It is the charity’s case that the proposal was not formulated with input from any homeopathy experts or practitioners; it was not a genuine attempt to engage the public; and did not provide the public with adequate information or access to provide a considered and informed response.
Whatever the judge’s decision, the BHA through its challenge has made it clear that the NHS needs to be accountable to the public and the patients who use its services.
The judge’s ruling is expected in the coming weeks.