Many of you are already aware that the Friends of the RLHIM is supporting the legal challenge instigated by the British Homeopathic Association (BHA) to NHS England’s consultation last year regarding the NHS funding of homeopathic and herbal medicine in Primary care.
The legality of the actual process of this consultation is being questioned on a number of grounds and the BHA, supported by the Friends as an Interested Party, is seeking a Judicial Review.
The application for Judicial Review was initiated on the basis that the consultation was fundamentally flawed on many levels and argues that NHS England failed to provide adequate information on which the public and other interested parties could make an informed response.
When the consultation was announced, NHS England’s Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, was reported as saying homeopathy was a “misuse of scarce NHS funds”, suggesting a bias against homeopathy from the outset – and a predetermined decision.
“We strongly feel that this was an attempt to influence the outcome of the consultation and is contrary to how public consultations should be conducted,” says Cristal Sumner, Chief Executive of the BHA.
Patients treated with homeopathy on the NHS have found it to be beneficial to their health, quite often after they’ve failed to respond to conventional treatments. These patients will be compelled to use more NHS services and that will inevitably be more expensive.
Many RLHIM patients have already been treated conventionally with no improvement to their health, while others suffer such severe side-effects from chemical drugs that they cannot take them. These patients will continue to need treatment and, in all likelihood, will cost the NHS more with conventional prescriptions and additional healthcare services and their quality of life will be impaired.
NHS England has since published its decision to advise GPs not to issue prescriptions for homeopathic or herbal medicine.
Join us in helping the BHA fund its legal challenge to keep homeopathy available on the NHS.