NHS Highland ends support for homeopathy


10:23 Campaign

The 10:23 Campaign

In light of the recommendation by Dr Margaret Somerville to end support for homeopathy on the NHS in Scotland, the 10:23 Campaign reiterate our stance that NHS support for this disproven quackery must be withdrawn immediately.

Speaking in response to an investigation by the BBC, which included the exposure of three homeopaths willing to treat patients with ineffective homeopathic ‘alternatives’ to the life-saving MMR vaccine, Dr Somerville described a “settled, clear and unambiguous clinical opinion” that homeopathy should not be used in the NHS and advised support be ended immediately – advice which has been taken on board by the NHS Highland, who opted to cease funding for the treatments today.

Michael Marshall, speaking on behalf of the 10:23 Campaign, today offered support for Dr Somerville’s statement:

“It’s immensely encouraging to see the Director of Public Health for the NHS Highland making so categorical and clear a statement, and to see the board follow through with decisive action. The evidence for the use of homeopathy is at best poor, and at worst non-existent. While belief may exist amongst practitioners that further studies are needed, such studies should be undertaken at their expense, rather than supporting the ineffective therapy with funding from taxpayer’s money in the meantime.

Speaking of the revelations in the BBC investigation, Mr Marshall continued:

“That the BBC found homeopaths willing to partake in some highly dubious and downright dangerous practices is little surprise to those of us familiar with the system of homeopathy. While homeopathic treatments themselves are often harmless – indeed, they’re chemically indistinguishable from simple sugar pills – the associated anti-scientific philosophy is often a breeding ground for poor health information and anti-vaccination propaganda.

This isn’t the first time such dangerous advice given by homeopaths has been exposed – a previous BBC investigation revealed homeopaths willing to offer ineffective replacements for anti-malarial drugs, and our own investigations have found countless tales of other homeopaths willing to offer treatments for AIDS, cancer and all manner of genuinely serious illnesses, based on no proof of efficacy and no reason to believe homeopathy to be useful.

This investigation didn’t reveal merely three rotten apples in an otherwise sound barrel, it exposed symptoms of a rotten system – teaching anti-science and actively promoting dangerous health information. It’s for these reasons that we applaud Dr Somerville, and all who similarly campaign for sense to triuph over nonsense, and it’s for these reasons that we strongly applaud the action from the NHS Highland and urge other areas of the NHS to follow suit”.

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  1. #1 by Steve Payne on October 5, 2010 - 13:22

    You self admitted media hag!! Great quote. Keep up the great work. Am listening to RIPodcast as I comment. Can’t call what’s happening on an iPhone keyboard, typing. :)>

  2. #2 by Alistair Campbell on October 6, 2010 - 01:08

    As Inverness is my hometown, I’m very pleased about NHS Highland’s decision to cease funding homoeopathy. Our health board spent a disproportionate amount of money on homoeopathy – the beneficiaries being just two clinics in Inverness.

    All this fuss over sugar pills…

  3. #3 by Scepticarla on October 10, 2010 - 21:23

    This is not really related to the article, but I picked up a leaflet recently called ‘Your Guide to Homeopathy’ printed by the Liverpool NHS Primary Care Trust. The leaflets were in a leaflet holder in the Linda McCartney Cancer centre, next to leaflets about Macmillan nurse support and coping with cancer. I was so shocked that I grabbed the entire sheaf of Homeopathy leaflets and took them with me to the blood room, where I sat and corrected one of the leaflets in bold black pen and returned that one to the leaflet rack, and took the rest of them home with me for recycling. I was disgusted that this leaflet claimed that homeopathy worked as a ‘complementary cancer therapy’ in 72% of patients, and it was printed by the NHS!!! How dare they propagate these blatant lies at our expense and to people who are in the most dire straits in life? Sorry, needed to rant about this, thanks for listening, phew!

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