NHS Lothian is currently conducting a consultation seeking the views of the public about whether NHS Lothian should continue to fund a Homeopathy service.
The current Lothian Homeopathy service runs 10 clinics per week.
NHS patients from Lothian, the Borders and other areas are presently seen at these clinics, provided their GP supports the referral. Total cost of the Lothian homeopathy service, including all medicines prescribed, all fixed costs, all GP scripts for homeopathy, and the referral of some patients to Glasgow, is estimated at £240,000 (about 0.017 per cent of NHS Lothian’s total budget).
In my understanding, the actual savings Lothian would realise, should they decide to close both the Lothian clinics and stop all Lothian referrals to the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital, would be around £140,000 per year. If the review advises closure, the NHS Lothian homeopathy service will cease.
This present consultation is the only opportunity that patients of the service have to give feedback, since no patient survey has been done to date. NHS Lothian welcomes the comments of all members of the public, but it is particularly important that patients who have experience of the service contribute to this review process before the consultation closes on November 10.
The public consultation questionnaire can be accessed and filled in online at www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/OurOrganisation/Consultations/Current/Homeopathy/Pages/default.aspx or paper copies can be requested by phoning 0131 465 5544 or by emailing email@example.com
Public meetings have already been held. The last one will be in Edinburgh next Monday, October 29. All details for those wishing to attend can be found on the NHS Lothian website, or by phoning 0131 465 5544.
Dr Mary Gillies