Glasgow & West Scotland

NHS Lanarkshire votes to end homeopathic referrals

Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital
Image caption The Centre for Integrative Care, formerly Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital.

A third health board in Scotland has voted to stop sending patients to the country's only homeopathic hospital.

NHS Lanarkshire took the decision despite the results of a consultation which showed a majority of patients questioned backed the service.

More than 200 people each year in Lanarkshire are referred to the Centre for Integrative Care, formerly Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital.

NHS Lothian and NHS Highland previously voted to stop patient referrals.

Homeopathy involves treating people with highly diluted substances with the aim of triggering the body's own healing mechanisms.

Patient survey

Medical scientists have said many trials have shown it is no better than a placebo.

In a report that went before NHS Lanarkshire, officials set out the findings of a survey of 153 patients, who attended clinics in the health board area.

On a 70% response rate, 88% said that, overall, the treatment made them feel better than before.

The health board voted, however, to cease new referrals from 31 March 2015 "on the basis of the lack of clinical effectiveness evidence for homoeopathy".

NHS Lanarkshire said patients currently being treated at the homeopathic hospital would continue until their course was completed.

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