Have your say: Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCGs consult on ending homeopathy funding

11 August, 2017

Homeopathic lactose sugar globules in glass bottles

Take action! You can respond to the consultation on the NHS’s website, and read our model response to help you draft your own.

The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire have launched a public consultation asking for the thoughts of people locally and nationally on a recommendation to decommission all NHS-funded homeopathic or alternative medicines in these areas. CCGs are statutory NHS bodies, mostly made up of local GPs, who are responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care service in local areas. The consultation closes on Tuesday 15 August. Humanists UK welcomes this recommendation and encourages members, supporters, and those with an interest in ending NHS funding of homeopathy to submit a response.

In 2010, the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee recommended that the NHS should cease funding homeopathy, as there is no evidence to show that homeopathy is clinically effective. The committee recommended that placebos should not be routinely prescribed on the NHS; that the funding of homeopathic hospitals should not continue, and that NHS doctors should not refer patients to homeopaths. Nearly all CCGs have complied with this recommendation. NHS funding in England is now restricted to some CCGs in London and these three CCGs in the West Country area. It is estimated that combined these three CCGs spend £200,000 on homeopathic treatments every year.

This consultation is open to all members of the public, but submissions from residents of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will be particularly appreciated.

Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson commented, ‘This consultation follows the recent decisions by the CCGs of Liverpool and Wirral to cease homeopathic funding following legal challenges. NHS England is also currently consulting on new guidelines for CCGs which recommend adding homeopathy to a list of items not be be prescribed in primary care: effectively ending homeopathic prescriptions on the NHS. Under these twin considerations – the legality of homeopathy funding being questionable and NHS England being minded to discontinue its funding already – it would be highly appropriate for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCGs to bring forward their own plans to end funding as quickly as possible.’


For further comment or information contact Richy Thompson, Director of Public Affairs and Policy on 020 7324 3072 or at richy@humanists.uk.

This consultation invites submissions from the public and any relevant interest groups. Deadline for submission is Tuesday 15 August. Submit a response: https://www.bristolccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/nhs-service-proposals/decommissioning-homeopathy/

Humanists UK recommended content for your submission: https://humanists.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017-08-09-RTR-Decommissioning-homeopathy-West-England-consultation.pdf

Our campaign on homeopathy: http://humanists.uk/campaigns/ethical-and-scientific-issues/homeopathy/

Recent years have seen a dramatic reduction in the availability of state-funded homeopathy. According to research by the Good Thinking Society, state funding of homeopathy has previously ended in Northern Ireland, Wales, Shetland, and the Western Isles of Scotland, as well as many parts of England. State-funded Steiner schools in the South West of England also promote homeopathy.

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

Humanists UK recently changed its name from the British Humanist Association: https://humanists.uk/2017/05/22/bha-becomes-humanists-uk/