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Alternative Therapies

Volume 571: debated on Tuesday 26 November 2013

16. What recent consideration he has given to banning the use of NHS funds for provision of alternative therapies. (901273)

As my hon. Friend will know, the provision of alternative and complementary therapies is decided by clinical commissioning groups, which obviously must take into account local health needs and priorities.

I thank the Minister for that answer. Many parts of the NHS are under intense, relentless financial pressure, so how can it be right that we spend millions of pounds a year on remedies that have no scientific basis, other than through their placebo effect?

My hon. Friend is quite right to highlight that value for money is very important. It is for local commissioners, not the Department, to decide how funding is spent to meet the needs of the populations whom they serve, but crucially, clinical commissioning groups are responsible for achieving value for money as regards the services that they commission, as well as for delivering improvements in the quality of care, and better outcomes for patients.