Save homeopathy on the NHS - help fund the judicial review

by Cristal Sumner

Save homeopathy on the NHS - help fund the judicial review

by Cristal Sumner
Cristal Sumner
Case owner
I am the CEO of the national charity, the British Homeopathic Association. We want to protect the public's right to access homeopathy and other natural health options within the NHS.
Funded
on 07th November 2017
£18,310
pledged by 267 people
Cristal Sumner
Case owner
I am the CEO of the national charity, the British Homeopathic Association. We want to protect the public's right to access homeopathy and other natural health options within the NHS.

Latest: Dec. 19, 2017

We've raised over £18k and await outcome of our judicial review application

Thank you to all our donors.  The donations we received far exceeded our expectations!  We have received over £18,000 to help cover our legal fees to lodge our application for ...

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The NHS is slowly dismantling our healthcare choices without proper and lawful consultation.

The NHS England Consultation on 'Items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care’  included a proposal for future statutory guidance that homeopathy, in any form and in respect of any care pathway and whether in conjunction with traditional pharmaceutical medicines or otherwise, should not be prescribed to existing or new patients within the NHS. This consultation recently closed and a decision on its proposals is expected at the end of November 2017.

Many patients treated with homeopathy on the NHS have found it to be beneficial to their health, quite often after they’ve failed to respond to conventional treatments; where conventional treatments do not exist; to alleviate the side effects of conventional treatments and/or in place of antibiotics and other medicines which the NHS wishes to reduce the use of.

If the NHS proposal is approved and homeopathy is no longer prescribed on the NHS, these patients won't disappear, they will be compelled to use more services not less, which are likely to be more expensive conventional drugs which may not be as effective.

We understand that expenditure needs to be reviewed, but that any review must be done lawfully upon proper consideration of the position.

We have commenced an application for judicial review on the basis that consultation was fundamentally flawed from the outset in that the proposal was not formulated with input from any homeopathy experts or practitioners; it was not a genuine attempt to engage consultees (a decision having been ostensibly predetermined) and did not provide consultees with adequate information on which to provide a considered and informed response. The judicial review seeks, among other things, a declaration that NHS England has acted unlawfully in relation to its proposals, its failure to consult on them properly and to listen to patients! If successful, we can protect the right of patients to choose to be treated with homeopathy on the NHS and the right of the public to properly be able to input upon the services that their National Health Service provides.

We have engaged solicitors Bates Wells Braithwaite, led by Emma Dowden-Teale, recognised for their expertise in judicial review and a highly regarded QC, Richard Clayton QC, who has an outstanding track record in cases involving public policy. We want to raise £7,500 to cover part of the legal fees for our judicial review. Once we reach this target more funds will ensure the legal challenge can proceed.

Your support will help make NHS England more accountable, defend patient choice and, more importantly, ensure patients have appropriate input on their access to cost-effective healthcare they use and need – in this case HOMEOPATHY!

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Update 3

Cristal Sumner

Dec. 19, 2017

We've raised over £18k and await outcome of our judicial review application

Thank you to all our donors.  The donations we received far exceeded our expectations!  We have received over £18,000 to help cover our legal fees to lodge our application for judicial review.

In addition, over 25,000 UK citizens and residents have signed the Parliamentary Petition calling for NHS England to keep homeopathy and herbal prescriptions in general practice. The petition is open until March so please sign and encourage others to do so as well.  It isn't just about homeopathy and herbal medicines, it is about patient choice and access to the care we all want when we are unwell.  The petition can be found by clicking here.

NHS England met on the 30th November and agreed to recommend that homeopathy no longer be prescribed in general practice.  Disappointing but not unexpected. Our statement on their decision can be read by clicking here.

NHS England's decision on 30th November makes no difference to our legal challenge of the consultation.  At present, the court needs to allocate a judge to review the grounds we have lodged, to enable us to move forward with the judicial review.  This can take some time but we hope to have news to share in February 2018.

We will endeavour to keep you updated on our activities to ensure NHS England are held accountable, for what we feel fundamentally flawed consultation. 


Update 2

Cristal Sumner

Dec. 1, 2017

NHS England Board agrees to cut funding

NHS England decided at their meeting yesterday (30th November), that homeopathy should no longer be prescribed in primary care.  

It is now even more imperative that NHS England is held to account through judicial review about their consultation process.

We had remained hopeful that NHS England might, on consideration of the large volume of consultation responses plus the arguments made in the judicial review, have come to the view that further (and proper) consultation was necessary. Their decision to cut access to homeopathy is therefore disappointing but not unexpected given the fundamentally flawed consultation NHS England conducted around homeopathy.  

Instead of listening to patients who have benefited from the therapy, or to the doctors who have treated them, NHS England choose to base its decision on the discredited House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s report from 2010 and the 2015 study by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, which is so flawed it is currently being investigated by the Commonwealth Ombudsman, facts NHS England conveniently failed to mention in the reams of documentation it produced for its board meeting.

It is shocking that when decisions to cut health services are being made, no critical questions as to how this will affect patients are asked by NHS England board members. Failure to explain what other treatments patients can expect to receive instead of homeopathy—along with the comparative costs of these treatments—is indicative of an organisation that has scant regard for the patient experience, and only pays lip service to the idea of genuine engagement with those who will be most affected by the decisions being made.

The BHA's judicial review moves forward on strong grounds.  With your support we can see the case to the end and ideally nullify the decision made by NHS England.


Update 1

Cristal Sumner

Nov. 27, 2017

We've reached our stretch target of £16,000

A big THANK YOU to all our supporters who have enabled us to hit our stretch target of £16,000 to help fund the BHA's legal challenge of NHS England's consultation.

We are delighted at the generosity of our supporters who share our concerns over this attack on patient choice.  

The money raised will help pay for legal work already undertaken to lodge the application for judicial review. Any additional funds, beyond the £16,000, will go towards work already being done to defend and clarify our case with the court.  It is costly, but essential and important work.

Presently we are awaiting the outcome of our application to the court, and anticipate a response in the coming weeks. 

Meanwhile, NHS England's Board will be meeting on 30th November 2017, and we have been informed that at this meeting the Board will be making decisions about patient access to homeopathy and herbal medicine based on the very consultation which we are challenging.   Whatever the outcome of NHS England's Board meeting on the 30th, the BHA will continue pursuing its legal challenge. 

We still have 8 days on crowdjustice and how fantastic would it be to hit £20,000 for this campaign?!  It only takes a few shares by you and me on social media and by email to get us to our new target.  Please help make it happen!  

Thank you for being a part of community of people that care about choice, proper public consultation and accountability of government bodies in decision making!

Warm wishes

Cristal 



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