Homeopathy in NHS Lothian

Nov 15, 2012

Discussion by: Sensitive Outsider
Hello everyone,

This is a note to everyone who lives in the Lothian’s area of Scotland mainly,however it might be of interest to others as well.

NHS Lothian is currently running a consultation on whether homeopathy should be funded by the National Health Service.

I urge all who live in this area to click on the link below,and submit their answers. The site does not ask for personal information, so I assume non-locals can also take part.

In these times,i believe no public money should be spent on this,we have much more pressing needs.

This survey is NOT being well advertised, so I recommend that people who live outwith the Lothians
check with their own health boards. Remember, in England the Health Secretary is Jeremy Hunt, an advocate of homeopathy!


19 comments on “Homeopathy in NHS Lothian

  • 1
    Mister T says:

    I have filled in the survey, doesn’t take long and is probably worth doing. Btw OP, maybe you should change your link to this one:

    (The original one you have goes to a “this page is unauthorised by yahoo” message which might put some people off).

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  • I’m always in two minds about homeopathy in the NHS. On a matter of principle, the NHS has no business dabbling in pseudoscience as treatment. On a matter of more practical financial concerns, homeopathy offers a way to administer placebos to a certain group of time-wasting, money-wasting hypochondriacs.

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  • 3
    Alan4discussion says:

    Even the survey is a waste of public money!

    Scientific facts and effective treatments, are not decided by the popular opinions based on public ignorance.

    There is plenty of expert opinion available in reputable journals based on scientific studies.

    What next?  A consultation on whether the Earth is flat?

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  • 4
    stuhillman says:

    Unfortunately, I think I read on other threads on similar subjects, that homeopathic medicines – sorry, water concoctions, are as, if not more, expensive that medicines that actually work.  Certainly more expensive than sugar pills that also work on the placebo principle.  And, of course, the doctor’s time is still charged at the same rate.

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  • 5
    pablo_mac says:

    Just filled in the survey – it only takes about 1 minute at most. I can’t stand the thought of my valuable tax revenue being used to fund something that doesn’t have a shred of evidence to suggest that it works.

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  • Just use tap water, same result only costs almost nothing. Now tell patient it is a treatment and you have the same placebo for next to no cost.

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  • 10
    DocWebster says:

    I almost started a riot at a hipster crystal store my daughter frequents when I told a patron shopping for some homeopathic remedy that he stood a better chance of the President handing him the the keys to the White House than being cured with the substance he was searching for.  

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  • 12
    OHooligan says:

    Even the survey is a waste of public money!

    Yes, the Notional Health Service should be finding out from peer-reviewed science what’s effective, not copping out and asking for uninformed opinion in a survey.

    If, as has been mentioned, other districts have already been funding this kind of treatment (see, I’m being nice), there should be some stats that show how beneficial it has been, in which case there’s no need to play Political Correctness games with a survey.  And if the stats don’t show any benefits (such as reduced hospital or prescription costs), what’s the justification?  Oh, maybe that’s it.  The justification is that The People have asked for it.   The Power of Lobbying?

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  • As I recall the UK parliament published a report into the public funding of homeopathy in 2010. To quote from the report’s website:


    The Chairman of the Committee, Phil Willis MP, said:

    “This was a challenging inquiry which provoked strong reactions. We were seeking to determine whether the Government’s policies on homeopathy are evidence based on current evidence. They are not. “It sets an unfortunate precedent for the Department of Health to consider that the existence of a community which believes that homeopathy works is ‘evidence’ enough to continue spending public money on it. This also sends out a confused message, and has potentially harmful consequences. We await the Government’s response to our report with interest.”

    I would hope that Lothian NHS would read the report.

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  • 14
    OHooligan says:

    We already have an NHS funded homeopathic hospital here in Bristol. In
    fact we have a long history of providing this pseudo-medical
    treatment,in Bristol, dating back to the 19th century.

    Hey, isn’t this an ideal opportunity for some genuine measurement of the effectiveness – or otherwise – of this (shall we say, being nice) controversial treatment.

    I understand that the whole notion of homeopathy is repugnant to many here, but let’s imagine that’s just prejudice based on “it can’t possibly work”, which is more or less the argument from incredulity used by creationists, and we wouldn’t want to accept that kind of thinking round here, would we?

    So, being fair minded and trying to be scientific here, and accepting that the placebo effect may be involved, the way to investigate would be to see if a homeopathy unit actually pays its way.  Does the Bristol region have in some respect a better performance than an equivalent district without such facilities?  Note this is not the usual kind of blind-trial, instead it would be what I think is termed a “holistic” approach.   Meaning I don’t care how they get better results  (if they do ), I just want to see the figures.   You could well argue that better results are due to placebo effect, or perhaps just the common-sense diet/exercise/lifestyle advice that comes with the “medicine”, but you know, that isn’t the point.    The point is,  is it cost-effective.   Because it might be, however much it makes you gnash your teeth at the irrationality of it.

    Deciding what’s “equivalent” of course is going to be the hard part to get agreement on.

    I await some properly peer-reviewed results.   But I’m not holding my breath.

    (Edit) Having read the Science & Technology Committee report, which I cannot fault, I do agree that NHS should not be in the business of promoting unproven treatments. I’d still like to know if there are any figures from Bristol or elsewhere that show a measurable benefit.

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  • I have found two sources both of which claim to show some form of cost benefit analysis. The first is from the” Quackometer” site , which, as I am sure you have already surmised, is very critical of both the cost and effectiveness of state funded homeopathic treatments. They also claim, and it is not without merit, that we have homeopathic hospitals in the state sector only because they existed in the era of Victorian philanthropy and became incorporated into the state sector “accidently” upon the founding of the NHS.

    The second is from the “Faculty of Homeopathy” which, again rather obviously, takes the opposite view. They claim that not only is there evidence that homeopathy is cost effecvtive but also lay claim to there being scientific evidence of it’s effectiveness above placebo . However, the evidence is not exactly convincing.



    I did post the following but it has disappeared. I have found one attempt at a peer review of Britol’s homeopathic hospital’s treatment and it’s effectiveness. However don’t expect too much as the author of the report, Dr Elizabeth Thompson, was not exactly forthcoming with the information contained in her report. So the link tells the story of digging over a number of years before finding some of the information. All of which is entirely negative re the effectiveness of the homeopathic treatment” studied” in the report.


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  • I have also found one attempt at a peer review of Britol’s homeopathic hospital, however, don’t expect to much from it as the author, Dr Elizabeth Thompson was not exactly forthcoming with her  findings. What you will see is a rather tortuous route, and lots of digging, in order to find  to find the information in her report.

    Sorry, prat that I am I have replied to my own post. This is meant to be a reply to OHooligan.


    disqus baffles me this post had disappeared and now it’s back so I have now posted the same information twice and can’t delete it

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  • Hi I do see what a lot of people dislike is the tincture stuff and good thoughts healing …and so on with homeopathy fair enough i feel the same way but how do people feel about the way most modern pharmy meds and vaccines are created. I have seen that there has been a decline in people taking vaccines i noticed a comment richard Dawkins said in a doco was people are more willing to get a far worse condition than the chance of getting a less debilitating one . i have known about the first creations of vaccines and the use of the HeLa virrus producing these please look this up and comment no one i know has heard of it and it is quite surprising to research thanx if u do

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