Homeopathy all but eradicated from National Health Service in England

8 August 2018

Homeopathy all but eradicated from National Health Service in England

Publicly-funded homeopathy is all but over in England, after Bristol’s Clinical Commissioning Group decided to cease providing homeopathic treatments under the National Health Service (NHS).

Bristol was the last place in England to offer NHS-funded homeopathic treatment, and it will now be provided only in exceptional circumstances.

Homeopathy uses treatments based on the idea that “like cures like” — that minute doses of natural substances that produce similar symptoms as an illness can be used to treat the illness, such as using small amounts of onion juice to treat allergies on the basis that both make patients’ eyes water.

Although the British Homeopathic Association defended homeopathy as being of “enormous value” to patients, the scientific consensus is that patients are getting nothing more than placebos.

In 2010 Britain’s House of Commons Science and Technology Committee reported that homeopathic remedies performed no better than placebos — that they had no actual physiological effect.

Although the Government response at the time was to defer to local NHS decision-makers, NHS England recommended in 2017 that medical practitioners should stop prescribing it.

The Glasgow Centre of Integrative Care is now the last place in Britain where homeopathic treatments are readily available on the NHS.