This site is intended for health professionals only

‘Witchcraft’ on the NHS to continue, new cancer drugs fund launched and Bonfire Night comes early for the quangos

By Ian Quinn

Our round up of health news headlines on Tuesday 27 July.

Carry on prescribing homeopathy may sound a bit like a 70s comedy film - and almost as far-fetched - but news that what has been described by LMC leaders as ‘witchcraft' will continue to flourish courtesy of the NHS features prominently in today's national health news.

The Mail says the Government's decision not to step in, despite MPs calling for a ban on NHS funding for the controversial practice and for tough new rules on its regulation, gives ‘the green light for spending on homeopathy to go up'

Taxpayers, it says, already spend about £4m a year on homeopathy on the NHS and the decision comes with NHS managers taking the axe to cataract operations, hip replacements and IVF treatment.

The Telegraph carries another colourful doctors' description of homeopathy as ‘nonsense on stilts' , with experts claiming patients would be better off being prescribed bottled water.

On perhaps a more worthy note, today's papers also report news that the coalition government has accelerated plans to pay for a new emergency drugs fund, making tens of millions of pounds available for new treatment to tackle cancer.

The Daily Mail claims credit for the decision, which it says is up there with its battle to stop taxpayers paying for prisoners to have parties and stopping the practices of council spies rummaging through our bins.

The Independent turns its fire, meanwhile, on health secretary Andrew Lansley's decision to take the axe to £180m of NHS quangos, including the Health Protection Agency and the National Patient Safety Agency.

It says doctors and nurses leaders have attacked the decision to scrap the HPA in particular, because of its medical independence - although Pulse has yet to receive a deluge in its inbox backing the Save our Quango campaign.

The Mail thinks the bonfire is more of a damp squib, claiming Mr Lansley has started with a 'little spark rather than a great flame'.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know, and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest Daily Digest