This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs could use astrology to treat patients more efficiently, says MP

GPs may benefit from using astrology to make health services more efficient and reduce public spend, a member of the House of Commons Health Committee has told Pulse.

David Tredinnick, Conservative MP for Bosworth, said he believes that the ancient practice - used in western, eastern and native American cultures for thousands of years - could ‘certainly’ be useful to GPs and also help reduce the cost of NHS as a whole.

The debate was important, he added, to stop the overuse of antibiotics and reduce pressure on doctors, by guiding patients in understanding what type of ailments they may be prone to, based on the position of the planets at the time they were born.

Asked whether it could also help GPs in treating patients, Mr Tredinnick said: ‘Certainly. Particularly a lot of GPs from the Indian subcontinent would be aware of the Indian astrology and probably apply it. I mean there are doctors here who do astrology. It has been around for so long that I think it is time to stop saying “it has no evidence”, it has been used for 3,000 years in all these cultures and we need to be a bit more broadminded.’

‘[Astrology] does have a part to play and I’ve studied it over 20 years, but it doesn’t work on the basis of double-blind placebo controlled trials. It works on the basis of observation and to a degree intuition, and this is something that we have lost in the health service. We rely too much on evidence and we should listen more to patients’ experience which is what we always used to do.’

For example, astrology may help GPs and their patients understand which pending health issues they should be on the lookout for, he added.

Mr Tredinnick said: ‘The signs of the Zodiac have been associated with different ailments. For example Capricorns are associated with the knees, I am a Capricorn and I’ve always had to watch my knees, Aries is the head, Pisces is the feet and you have the others sort of going in order from top to bottom. That’s a fairly simple way of looking at it but some people because of their astrological make up would be more susceptible to some ailments than others.’

He added that the ‘bigger point’ though was how turning to complementary medicine could help achieve the ‘Nicholson challenge’ of cutting spending on the NHS by increasing efficiency and also the help avert the ‘drugs crisis’ linked to antimicrobial resistance.

He said: ‘We have to look at ways of reducing that demand. Traditional disciplines, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, which is very widely used in China, homeopathic medicine - 90% of pregnant women in France use homeopathic medicines - we need to try and have a better understanding of these options to reduce demand, so that it is not just about increasing supply. We have to produce other alternatives to reduce the pressure on existing services in the system and take the pressure off doctors.’

The MP clarified however that he was not suggesting the NHS pays for patients to have their astrological charts done.

‘I have not said that this should be on the health service. I have been quite clear about this. This is something that can be looked at by people, but I am not advocating that the health service pays for this service. To have a chart done, or a map done, an astrological breakdown of someone’s personality and likely behaviour costs about £30. You can go online, there are lots of people doing it, and you can buy it as a computer programme I use and I’ve done it for MPs in the past. It is very, very helpful and based on where the emphasis in your chart is you get some idea of where you are likely to be affected and where you are not.’

Pulse spoke to Mr Tredinnick in light of comments he made in the House of Commons last week that he hoped Government would stop ‘looking just at increasing the supply of drugs and consider the way that complementary and alternative medicine can reduce the demand for drugs, reduce pressures on the health service, increase patient satisfaction, and make everyone in this country happier’.

Readers' comments (71)

  • Is it April 1???

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • As a GP gastroenterologist, I feel pressurred to state that he may have a point. It is now clear to me that constipation is mainly caused by planets occluding Uranus.
    The people of Bosworth must be so proud of this beacon of scientific thought. I say make him Secretary of State!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • OMG, a lunatic is really in charge of the asylum.

    How does someone with views like that get to be on committees dealing with medicine and with science?
    What next Mr Tredinnick, witch doctors on the NHS? Shall we kill a chicken and read its entrails?

    Just how much sheer stupidity can the NHS take before blowing up?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been moderated

  • If he were a doctor, letters would right now be winging their way to GMC. But since he's a politician he is allowed to spout drivel and draw a salary for it!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Unbelievable, just unbelievable.
    Why don't we all pack up and go home, when people like that are in parliament. We are just all wasting our time and effort.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been removed by the moderator

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Not rowing with both oars, are you Mr Tredinnick?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • How absolutely wonderful, Copperfield has a competitor to brighten up a busy day, could he do a column please?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Took Early Retirement

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
    Glad he hasn't his finger on the nuclear button.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been removed by the moderator

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • kinda explains Goverment policy now doesn`t it.
    Can I use astrology to explain to our patients how we are all shafted?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • must be a joke?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This man should be removed from the health committee. The NHS is in crisis and this is the nonsense that our elected and tax payer funded MPs suggest as a solution. We are truly screwed if the government has people like this spouting such rubbish. This is dangerous. If MPs can get disciplined for their views on the Gaza situation then surely they should be disciplined for this kind of irresponsible suggestion. I don't normally get this angry but at the end of an oncall day now extended hours I feel like a rant!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    OMG , O'Brien actually lives
    'What are the stars?' said O'Brien indifferently. 'They are bits of fire a few kilometres away. We could reach them if we wanted to. Or we could blot them out. The earth is the centre of the universe. The sun and the stars go round it.'

    Winston made another convulsive movement. This time he did not say anything. O'Brien continued as though answering a spoken objection:

    'For certain purposes, of course, that is not true. When we navigate the ocean, or when we predict an eclipse, we often find it convenient to assume that the earth goes round the sun and that the stars are millions upon millions of kilometres away. But what of it? Do you suppose it is beyond us to produce a dual system of astronomy? The stars can be near or distant, according as we need them. Do you suppose our mathematicians are unequal to that? Have you forgotten doublethink?'

    Part three, Chapter three.....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What have we got to lose?!
    Perhaps if a prerequisite to a GP appt is a completed astrological chart, we can filter out a lot of the drivel we put up with every day?!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • strange that ... i've just checked me star sign and it says ' thousands of GPs looking to emigrate or retire ... '

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Consent for treatment required, sign here please: Pisces.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Actually this chap is kinda right.

    Does anyone remember the truck Darren Brown used on predicting people's lives using their hand prints? Everyone was convinced they had a personal reading but in reality all the guests had exactly the same reading and it was revealed Brown used ancient techniques used by likes of astrologist to make their punters believe the fate were predicting? We could use the same technique to persuade people off inappropriate tests and treatments

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This level of deluded belief is quite frankly terrifying and deeply irresponsible. Can I propose a law that MPs without scientific training and qualifications, should not be allowed to hold any position relating to science, in particular healthcare? We could call it the MP Scientific Skills and Competency Act. This would protect the public from potentially harmful ideology and ensure those involved in shaping key scientific policy had an appropriate level of understanding of the likely consequences of their actions.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!
    God help us all.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Bob Hodges

    That story was written by Kevin Hinkley as a 'Through the K Hole' piece and you've accidentally filed it under 'news'.

    Surely?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I for one will be consulting the stars instead of patients. Certainly will be more peaceful and calming. I may even resort to star gazing... Angelina Jolie type of star qualify ??? What a silly man.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • no worse than the FFT really is it

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I'm looking to heaven for help, but this wasn't quite what I had in mind. It gives 'on another planet' a whole new meaning.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Confucious is quoted as saying that there is nothing more satisfying than watching your neighbour fall off his own roof ... I don't think we need say any more - he has made his own case quite eloquently. We need say no more and just enjoy the spectacle.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This is what Eton and the Guards does for you ........ and us voters!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well done David Tredinnick, a brave admission indeed. As for the offensive comments this has evoked, one can only put down to plain ignorance by closed minded professionals who clearly make judgement without any knowledge of the subject and are obviously threatened by his revelation. The Government should make available funding for unbiased research. Thank goodness we have an open minded person on these important working groups.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I suppose NHS England will now insist that we identify all our patients astrological signs...why not, I've got nothing better to do

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thank you so much Pulse, for posting this story. It has literally made my day. Laughter is the best medicine, and I haven't laughed so much in years. What a berk. And yes, I do know what that's rhyming slang for.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This is an insult to the profession...get it off!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I've just had to wipe the coffee off my computer screen!
    I wonder if this guy can "Klingon" to his seat at the next election..........

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Always good to have the day lightened up.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • There is definitely something a bit fishy in Pisces, and a lot of bull coming from Taurus, but none of it with much evidence base to prevent Cancer rising, I definitely detect in my crystal ball however, the shadows of a resignation looming ahead Mr Tredinnick, the sun is setting on your career.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I must admit this is delightful because it gives all GPs and Casulty Docs open slather to wave chicken feet and other totems of randomn childish superstition over any tory who rocks up at casulty, or looking a bit worse for wear. Fortunately we have ethics that require no harm done first, unlike spouting this drivel. My only delight is that he will probably be beaten with that many newspapers rolled up to show the horoscope page, that he may require to see an actual GP to treat the bruises and discover, they are all sunning themselves in the Antipodes. Come on Over, the water is lovely.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hazel Drury

    If you open your mind too much your brain will fall out.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Oh dear the 'other healthcare professional ' is at it again I mean the GP bashing . Now that's a surprise lol

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • No need for astrology or a medical degree to know GP is attacked from all corners and is terminal.Put it on palliative care and those who can escape look after yourself...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This just reinforces what we have believed for a long time that our MPs are made up of Aliens from another planet totally out of touch with the real world.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been removed by the moderator

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The New David Icke - can the PULSE reporter please let us know if was he wearing purple during the interview?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Secure environments GP

    Priceless, will there be QoF targets for offering astrological reading?

    This does not surprise me!
    He is my MP. He was saying stuff like this in The Hinckley Times local paper years ago.

    It so annoyed me that in 1993 when at medical school I chose to write a research paper on the "Evidence based behind Complimentary Therapy" and I sent it to him.

    I shall have to dig it out of the attic. If my memory serves me right he responded with some "one-liner" saying he is glad I was taking an interest in Alternative Medicine as a future doctor.......

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Secure environments GP

    Meant was my MP...I moved...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Terrifying that this MP can be considered suitable for the House of Commons Health Committee if these quotes are entirely in context.

    I guess that in truth politicians are used to being able to make up policies based on nothing resembling evidence being more rooted in idiology and wishful thinking.

    Perhaps it is best we view it in these terms was my initial thought. But then I considered the fact that this is an MP, a paid public servant displaying what to me appears to be a misunderstanding of his role. He is there to represent his constituents not his belief of planetary positions and long term health conditions.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • ROTFLMAO

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! God help the United Kingdom....and God help the NHS

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Just as ridiculous as another MP blamed bad weather on gay marriage!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Lost my cornflakes reading this one.
    But, hang on - this may be the most enlightened suggestion from an MP for a long while.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • astonishing loony
    it is getting to the stage where it is not possible to parody these pathetic mps..

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I can't believe what I just read. Simply can't believe it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • How can we get our point of view ie this is irresponsible lunacy turned into action against this man? It is breathtaking in its absurdity.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page50 results per page

Have your say