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NHS Homeopathic Hospitals

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 19 February 2007, Official Report, columns 57-8W, whether the Government’s commitment to patient choice will enable patients to choose homeopathy from a local NHS homeopathic clinic or NHS homeopathic hospital. (124193)

The Government consider that decision-making on individual clinical interventions, whether conventional, or complementary alternative treatments, has to be a matter for local national health service providers and practitioners as they are best placed to know their community’s needs. In making such decisions, they have to take into account evidence for the safety, clinical and cost-effectiveness of any treatments, the availability of suitably qualified practitioners, and the needs of the individual patient. Clinical responsibility rests with the NHS professional who makes the decision to refer and who must therefore be able to justify any treatment they recommend. If they are unconvinced about the suitability of a particular treatment, they cannot be made to refer. Decisions on spending on any complementary and alternative medicine treatments are therefore the responsibility of the NHS.