Liverpool NHS could axe its £30,000 a year bill for homeopathy

health chiefs look set to axe their £30,000-a- taxpayer funding for – a treatment the NHS admits does not work.

The Liverpool clinical commissioning group (CCG), which funds health services in the city, was threatened with legal action earlier this year over its funding for the alternative therapy.

Now CCG chairman Dr Nadim Fazlani says his “preferred option” is to axe the spending on homeopathy.

He said: “There is little evidence that homeopathy has a clinical benefit so, as a governing body, our preferred option would be to stop commissioning this service. However, it is important that the people have an opportunity to provide their views before a decision is made.”

Homeopathy – the use of highly diluted substances to treat minor ailments – is criticised for lacking scientific backing.

Earlier this year the Good Thinking Society, a pro-science charity, threatened Liverpool CCG with legal action over its homeopathy funding.

The society’s chairman, Simon Singh, previously said: “Homeopathic treatments when paid for by the NHS are a waste of crucial resources that would be better spent on evidence-based and effective treatments.”

The Good Thinking Society estimates £4m is spent on homeopathy by different NHS trusts each year – £30,000 in Liverpool.

Old Swan Health Centre, home to Liverpool Medical Homeopathy Service (picture via Google Maps)

But the Old Swan-based Liverpool Medical Homeopathy Service, run by GPs Dr Hugh Nielsen and Dr Sue de Lacy, urged the CCG not to axe the treatment.

In a statement, the service said: “The patients we see generally have long-standing, complex conditions that are often difficult to treat with conventional medicine.

“Yet regular audits of our clinic show a very high level of patient satisfaction, with patients consistently reporting an improvement in their health.

“As experienced doctors trained in homeopathy we see it working every day and that is why we believe Liverpool CCG – and more importantly the patients the CCG serves – is getting excellent value for the relatively small amount of funding the service receives.”

According to the NHS Choices website, homeopathy is a “treatment based on the use of highly diluted substances, which practitioners claim can cause the body to heal itself”.

But the health service website also admits: “There is no good quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition.”

Source: Liverpool Echo

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