Highlands & Islands

NHS Highland board ends support for homeopathy

The board of NHS Highland has agreed to end future support for homeopathic treatment for its patients.

Director of public health Dr Margaret Somerville told the board there was "no evidence" that the remedies work.

Patients presently receiving homeopathic treatment will be allowed to continue in the meantime.

Last month, three homeopaths told the BBC they gave patients a homeopathic medicine designed to replace the MMR vaccine.

Inverness-based Katie Jarvis said she only offered "Homeopathic Prophylaxis" to patients who expressed an interest.

She declined to be interviewed about NHS Highland's decision.

Dr Somerville said there was "settled clear and unambiguous clinical opinion" that homeopathic treatments should not be used in the NHS.

The Faculty of Homeopathy said seven million people use homeopathy in the UK and there was growing evidence of its worth.

NHS Highland has service agreements for the treatment of patients by two Inverness-based homeopaths.

Since 2007-08, the board has spent £44,732 on homeopathic treatments.

The health board's figures also showed that since 2002-03 it has helped to provide 4,896 homeopathic treatments.

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