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Wirral CCG scraps funding for 'ineffective' homeopathy

Wirral clinical commissioning group (CCG) will stop funding homeopathy services following the results of a public consultation.

Views on both homeopathy and Iscador – a mistletoe extract used as an alternative cancer treatment – were gathered in a 90-day consultation that ended in July 15, the CCG said. 

The organisation surveyed more than 1,500 stakeholders and members of the public, and found that 95% were in favour of scrapping the service, the CCG said as it announced the funding decision on Tuesday (October 4). 

Between April 2013 and March 2015, the CCG spent £31,608 on homeopathy and Iscador treatments, it said.

CCG medical director and Wirral GP Dr Sue Wells said that although “strong views” were expressed on both sides, a “significant majority” of the public and clinicians who responded favoured stopping funding for the service.

One respondent said it was “criminal” to waste money on “supernatural nonsense” when the NHS is struggling financially, the CCG said in its report of the consultation. 

Another said it was “absolutely ridiculous” that services with "no reliable, demonstrable scientific evidence" beyond the placebo effect,  were even considered for public funding.

The final decision was made after an informal discussion on the "lack of evidence" of homeopathy between governing body members and the National Institute of health, Dr Wells said.

The Good Thinking Society, which is campaigning to have homeopathy blacklisted on the NHS, told C+D today (October 6) that fewer than 20 CCGs still fund homeopathy. This is down from 35 two years ago, it added. 

Last year, the government promised a consultation on whether homeopathy should remain available on the NHS  – which the Royal Pharmaceutical Society branded as "overdue". 

Is homeopathy still funded in your area?

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