Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are consulting on proposals for homeopathy for a second time.
We reported on their first consultation last year. This overlapped with a consultation by NHS England and we understand some homeopaths had complained to the CCGs about the way their consultation had been run. This second consultation should finally decide the fate of homeopathy in the area.
After the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital closed in January 2013, homeopathy continued to be provided by a small clinic at the South Bristol Community Hospital. Just three years later, in October 2015, this too closed to be replaced by a private clinic, the Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine. That is not part of the NHS but is contracted by the CCGs to provide homeopathy services.
At the end of November 2017, NHS England announced recommendations that GPs should no longer prescribe homeopathic treatments or herbal remedies.
The aim of their proposal is to review the commissioning of homeopathy services and treatments and includes three options.
- The homeopathy service should continue under the current policy where funding is granted if the patient meets the published criteria
- The current policy should be amended to reduce access either by reducing the number of appointments routinely funded or by restricting the access criteria so the fewer patients will qualify for treatment
- NHS funded homeopathy is only available in rare and exceptional circumstances and would need to be approved by the Individual Funding Request Panel (IFR)
The consultation closes on Sunday 15 April 2018 so plenty of time to submit your response online. This is little more than indicating how strongly you agree or disagree with each of the three proposed options, but you have the opportunity to provide further information if you so wish.
We encourage members to take a minute to submit their response.