Skeptic News: Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine told to withdraw leaflet

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom: Daily Mail

An NHS hospital has been found guilty of making bogus claims about the benefits of hypnosis for serious medical conditions.

The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine has been told to withdraw a leaflet it issued promoting hypnosis treatment for a number of conditions including mental health problems and irritable bowel syndrome.

The hospital, whose patron is the Queen, is part of the group of University College London Hospitals NHS trust and calls itself the largest public sector provider of integrated medicine in Europe.

Apart from hypnosis, its clinicians offer various alternative medical therapies including homeopathy and acupuncture.

A leaflet issued by the London hospital headed ‘Medical and Clinical Hypnosis’  made a number of impressive claims for the treatment. It boasted: ‘Hypnosis can benefit almost anyone to improve their physical, emotional and mental health.’  It then went on to provide a long list of conditions which it could help alleviate including problems with the immune, nervous and gastro-intestinal systems. The leaflet said hypnosis could also help sufferers with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and dyspepsia.

The Nightingale Collaboration challenged the leaflet and made a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority(ASA), which ruled that most of the hospital’s claims for hypnotherapy could not be substantiated.

The ASA banned the hospital from issuing the leaflet again and told executives to make sure that they have ‘robust evidence’ to substantiate medical claims in any future publications
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