It is disappointing that at a time when the NHS is facing a funding crisis the Department of Health (DH) is embarking on a costly consultation that could prevent highly skilled clinicians prescribing a course of treatment that benefits thousands of patients each year. If the DH were serious about saving money surely it should be looking at SSRIs, prescribed for mild to moderate depression in vast quantities at considerable cost to the NHS, but which studies have found to be ineffective for those conditions.
Dr Helen Beaumont
President of the Faculty of Homeopathy
As a doctor who actually uses homeopathy as part of an integrated approach to medicine, I believe I can speak with far greater authority on the effectiveness of the therapy than Dr Brunet, Simon Singh, the Good Thinking Society or any other individual or group who want to force their own ideas of what is good clinical practice on to the rest of the medical profession.
Having practised homeopathy for many years I have seen how effective it is in treating a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. I recognise that the evidence base in inconclusive, but that can also be said about many conventional therapies currently available on the NHS. I find it quite astounding that at a time when the NHS is underfunded and creaking under the burden of ever-increasing demand, there is such a concerted campaign to close NHS homeopathy services. If critics took time to look they would find the treatment provided by these services consistently records extremely high levels of patient satisfaction; treatment that brings relief to their symptoms without the side-effects of the "plethora of pills" that Dr Brunet recognises as being potentially harmful, as well as being far less costly compared with many conventional drugs used to treat (not always successfully) the same conditions.
If the narrow and dogmatic scientific criteria for medical effectiveness advocated so zealously by opponents of NHS homeopathy were applied to all NHS treatments, then I believe our ability as doctors to practise medicine would be seriously undermined and result in a calamitous decline in patient care.