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UK’s largest alternative medicine hospital to stop offering NHS-funded homeopathy

One the last facilities in the UK to offer NHS-funded homeopathic medicine is to stop supporting the controversial treatment, it was announced this week.

The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM), has told patients it can no longer offer homeopathy from April, as NHS bodies in the capital try to reduce spending.

Patients will still be able to purchase the medicines from the hospital’s pharmacy but the cost will now be felt by people rather than the NHS.

It means that the only major NHS-funded services in the UK to still offer homeopathic treatments are in Bristol and Glasgow, although there are pressures on these as well.

Hospital bosses revealed the news in a newsletter sent out to patients, which said that the treatment would be cancelled from 3 April, meaning it will “no longer be providing NHS-funded homeopathic remedies for any patients as part of their routine care.”

The practice has previously been criticised by the health service itself, with NHS Choices saying there is no “good-quality evidence” to support the idea that homeopathy could be an effective treatment for patients.

However, RLHIM has been offering the services since the 1840s – when it was called London Homeopathic Hospital.

The decision to stop funding the treatments is indicative of NHS England’s wider push to save £190m by reducing the number of wasteful or ineffective procedures and medicines it offered.

Announcing the plans in August, NHSE boss Simon Steven’s said homeopathy was “at best a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds.

Top image: Amesy

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