This is the first in what we hope to be monthly series of updates on our projects and progress, to give our supporters an insight into some of the things we're working on and how you might be able to help. Please feel free to share it with anyone you think might be interested in hearing more about what Good Thinking is currently working on.
NHS Homeopathy Challenge - Update
Many of our supporters will know about our ongoing challenge to NHS funding for homeopathy, which began with our successful Judicial Review contesting NHS Liverpool CCG's decision to spend £40,000 per year on homeopathic remedies, despite their own report recommending no funding ought to be allocated to this long-disproven pseudoscience.
Since NHS Liverpool CCG's decision to go back to consultation on the issue, we have offered our recommendations on how the public consultation could best be conducted. We anticipate an updated consultation proposal and timeline in the coming weeks, and we'll be working with the Merseyside Skeptics Society and other Liverpool-based supporters to ensure the rationalist and skeptical viewpoints are heard. Supporters in Liverpool who wish to take part can get in touch with us, and we'll notify you when the time comes.
We are also happy to report encouraging signs of other CCGs taking steps to end support for homeopathy. NHS Dorset CCG and NHS Halton CCG have confirmed that they will no longer fund homeopathic remedies, while NHS Bristol CCG and NHS Wirral CCG have announced plans to review their policies. NHS Bristol CCG's announcement comes in the wake of confirmation from Bristol Homeopathic Hospital will no longer be providing homeopathic remedies, as of October 2015. Given that the hospital reported funding of almost £300,000 in 2013 and was the primary provider of homeopathic remedies for 5 of the 31 CCGs to fund homeopathy, this seems to be a significant step towards an end of NHS homeopathy in the South West.
With regards to the overall NHS spend on homeopathic services in the UK, we recently released a full breakdown of our research, showing a map of where homeopathy is funded by the NHS and to what extent. According to our research, in 2013/14 the NHS spent £3m-£5m on homeopathic remedies, despite just 15% of CCGs funding it at all. We will be very interested in how those numbers change as more and more CCGs appear to be moving toward ending homeopathic funding.