Liverpool CCG has decided to decommission its homeopathic services after a public consultation found support for ending funding immediately. This is a swift about-face for the CCG after it approved spending on homeopathic services in February 2015.

The CCG opened a public consultation on homeopathy after a threat of legal challenge from The Good Thinking Society, a pro-science charity. 64% of Liverpool-based respondents indicated they wanted funding stopped, with 30% wanting the service continued. Michael Marshall, Liverpool resident and Project Director of the Good Thinking Society, welcomed the CCG’s decision: “This consultation shows overwhelmingly that the people of Liverpool believe limited NHS funds should be spent on treatments that are shown to actually work.”

The decommissioning of homeopathy in Liverpool continues the demise of homeopathy throughout the UK. Wirral CCG is the only area north of  Watford Gap currently funding homeopathy, and they are currently running a public consultation to determine whether to continue.

Homeopatic pharmacy, Varanasi Benares India
Homeopathy is a popular alternative to conventional medicine in many countries. However, there is no high-quality evidence to suggest it does what its advocates says it does.        Credit: Jorge Royan

In the South West, Bristol Homeopathic Hospital ceased funding homeopathic treatments in October 2015. The only remaining homeopathic hospital in England is in London, which receives funds from 17 CCGs. Limited information is available, but projections on what this totals range from £1.7-3m.

Elsewhere in the UK, Northern Ireland spends no NHS money on homeopathy and Wales spent £250 in 2014/15. In Scotland, 5 health boards funded homeopathy at a cost of approximately £1.9m in 2014/15, with the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital accounting for the vast majority of this spend.

 

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