A report into the move states that the homeopathy service has been in rapid decline over the past few years with the current levels of patient referrals being insufficient to support their own premises. In 2009/2010 there were 898 new patients seen at the hospital. This has now collapsed to 470 in the last year. The reasons given for the move appear to be somewhat confused with suggestions that it is to do with an expensive  need to improve IT services and put modern networking in the building and that the University of Bristol want their building back. What is clear is that the homeopaths hope the move with change their fortunes. 

Bristol Homeopahic Hospital has had a difficult month and have had to withdraw their outreach clinics from Cullomtpon. The clinic was held at the GP Surgery complex of Michael Dixon, champion of alternative medicine and favourite of Prince Charles.

The report stresses that the proposed change of location is not a downgrade of service but just a relocation. This is not quite true. From having a dedicated building, the homeopathy service will now be sharing space, leased by the NHS from private company Bristol Infracare (LiftCo). In their own words, they are “losing their own front door”. The report also discusses the need to do structural changes to create waiting spaces in the new building with the required “calm atmosphere”. When your medicine is nothing but sugar pills, having a nice space becomes that much more important.

The closure is the last chance for supporters of homeopathy to claim the NHS provides homeopathic hospitals. Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital closed in 2008. The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital went in 2010 after it became impossible to claim that significant homeopathic services dominated the practices of the doctors. It became the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine where a number of alternative medicines are practiced in one small part of a once much larger building. Liverpool Homeopathic Hospital just disappeared being replaced by an outsourced contract to a Community Interest Company. Even without this news from Bristol, it has been a struggle to claim there were NHS Homeopathy Hospitals in the UK.