Save homeopathy on the NHS - help fund the judicial review - Part 2

by Cristal Sumner

Save homeopathy on the NHS - help fund the judicial review - Part 2

by Cristal Sumner
Cristal Sumner
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.
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Cristal Sumner
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.
Pledge now

Your card will only be charged if the case meets its target of £10,000 by May. 06, 2018, 8 a.m.

We are launching a second part of our campaign to help fund the legal fees associated with our judicial review hearing which has been set for 1 May. 

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!

We want to raise over £10,000 to cover part of the legal fees for our hearing. We previously raised over £18,000 pounds toward our legal fees to get the judicial review application submitted to court providing substantial grounds for NHS England to answer to.

The background to our case:
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 closed in October 2017 with recommendations issued by NHS England on 30 November 2017 to stop funding homeopathic prescriptions.

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

That is why we submitted an application for judicial review in October 2017 prior to the consultation ending on the basis that the 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. We are also challenging NHS England’s decision to go ahead with the proposals and publish national guidance that homeopathic medicines should no longer be routinely prescribed by GPs. We are concerned that NHS England has failed to consider the effect of its decision on those patients with protected characteristics, in breach of the Public Sector Equality Duty.  The judicial review seeks, among other things, a declaration that NHS England has acted unlawfully in relation to its proposals and subsequent decision, on the basis of its failure to consult on them properly and to listen to patients!  

If successful, NHS England would have to re-consult and we hope 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. People 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  or 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.

With NHS England issuing these recommendations in November 2017, the BHA understands from GPs that CCGs have stopped them from prescribing homeopathic medicines which is having an effect on patients.  Often chronically ill and on small fixed incomes, these patients are now compelled either to pay for homeopathic services or to use alternative and often more costly NHS services/medicines.

A parliamentary petition to stop NHS England from removing herbal and homeopathic medicines received 34,670 signatures from across all of the UK, which demonstrates that this is an important issue across the nation.

We have been granted a 'rolled up' hearing where the grounds for permission to bring the judicial review and the case will be heard at one time.  This will be May 1-3, 2018 in the Administrative Court at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.  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.

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