Skeptic News: NHS Greater Glasgow to consider axing homeopathic hospital

From: Evening Times

Health chiefs are to consider plans to axe funding for referrals to Scotland’s only homeopathic hospital.

 NHS Lanarkshire is to carry out a review into the provision of homeopathy at the Centre of Integrative Care in Glasgow. It follows a decision by NHS Highland two years ago to withdraw funding for referrals to the hospital, based at the Gartnavel site. Homoeopathy is also provided to patients from Lanarkshire on an outpatient basis at Coatbridge Health Centre and Carluke Community Health Centre. Between 2010 and 2011, 265 patients received homeopathic treatment with 86 treated in hospital.

Around a quarter of hospital admissions were for treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. The chief executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Robert Calderwood, has previously warned that, if other boards follow NHS Highland, he will have to look at how much the hospital is costing the health board.

Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) have said the NHS should stop funding such hospitals, arguing there is no evidence of their effectiveness. The UK spends an estimated £4m a year on homeopathy The Centre for Integrative Care provides a range of therapies including acupunture and hypnosis. The review will focus primarily on the homoeopathic elements of the service.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We work closely with NHS Lanarkshire and are aware that they are considering the future funding of homoeopathic medicine.

“We are reliant on the ongoing commitment from other boards to make use of the inpatient services to maintain their viability.”

A report will be submitted to NHS Lanarkshire’s Modernisation Board by April 2013. We encourage Glasgow based Skeptics to follow Edinburgh Skeptics lead and try to ensure that NHS funding in Glasgow is concentrated on evidence based medicine than magic water.

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