NHS Lothian Takes Decision on Homeopathy Services

The decision to move away from providing homeopathic services in Lothian was made by NHS Lothian’s board at their monthly meeting today (26 June).  This followed recommendations made by the Healthcare Governance Committee and is in line with the recent survey results of the homeopathy public consultation.

The consultation and survey, led by the Midlothian Community Health Partnership asked whether NHS Lothian should pay for homeopathic services in Lothian. The survey results showed that 72 per cent of all those who responded were against the service continuing to be funded by NHS Lothian with 27 per cent in favour of the status quo and 1 per cent undecided. The results also showed that people who lived in the NHS Lothian health board area responded similarly, with more than 74 per cent against the health board continuing to pay for homeopathy and approximately 25 per cent in favour.

Professor Alex McMahon, Director of Strategic Planning, Performance Reporting and Information, NHS Lothian said:  “We have consulted the public and listened to their views and the survey results are clear in showing that the majority of people who took part are against us continuing to provide homeopathic services. 

“The majority of respondents cited lack of evidence for homeopathy and supported investing the funds currently spent on this service into other proven healthcare services.”

In total there were 3,720 responses to the questionnaire, which include 3,350 electronic and 367 paper responses.

There are approximately 200 new referrals each year to the homeopathy service with 1300-1500 return appointments. Approximately 20 new referrals are received per annum from other health boards.

The initial report detailing the consultation process and survey results is available at:

http://www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/OurOrganisation/Consultations/Past/Homeopathy/Documents/NHSLothianHomeopathyConsultationReport.pdf

It provides a breakdown of returns both online and paper copies as well as by Lothian residents, non Lothian residents and those who chose not to indicate where they lived.

26/06/2013