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Last Updated: Monday, 11 September 2006, 21:31 GMT 22:31 UK
Homeopathic clinic faces cutbacks
Homeopathic Hospital in Tunbridge Wells
The Homeopathic Hospital is treating about 700 patients
A Kent clinic - one of just five in the UK to provide homeopathic treatment on the NHS - is facing closure because of cutbacks by its health trust.

Staff and patients at the Homeopathic Hospital, in Tunbridge Wells, have been told of a reduction in finances.

The Maidstone and Weald Primary Care Trust said to make savings it must also cut the number of patients sent there.

Patient Sally Cronk, who has chronic skeletal pain, said she now feared she could end up in a wheelchair.

"They give me homeopathic pills and acupuncture, which keeps me mobile and more or less pain free," she said.

Conventional medicine

"I'll have to pay for it - but what with?"

Supporters of homeopathic treatment point out that it reduces the pressure on other parts of the NHS.

Dr Andrew Sikorski, a GP in Tunbridge Wells, said: "Anyone who looks at the evidence will find that homeopathy has helped where conventional medicine hasn't been able to help."

The Maidstone and Weald Primary Care Trust said it had no option but to look at the money it was spending on health.

A statement said that in future all patients referred to homeopathic services would be considered by a special panel to ensure their treatment was appropriate.

"We are talking to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, which provides the service, about the implications of this change, for new and existing patients," it added.

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