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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK
NHS trust stops homeopathy funds
Homeopathic Hospital in Tunbridge Wells
The Homeopathic Hospital treats up to 1,000 patients a year
Health bosses have recommended that NHS funding for a homeopathic hospital in Kent should be stopped.

West Kent Primary Care Trust has been conducting a review of all its funding.

Up until now, part of it has been paying for patients to be treated at the Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital, or at a clinic in Bromley.

Spokeswoman Emma Burns said the move was because "the NHS has to decide the best use of money on the evidence of clinical effectiveness".

Trust executives recommended to board members at a meeting that the 160,000 spent on treatments each year could be better spent elsewhere.

It follows a lengthy and extensive public consultation.

Decision on future

The clinic treats up to 1,000 patients a year, and is one of just five in the UK to provide homeopathic treatment on the NHS.

The hospital is run by the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust which will have to make a decision on its future, now the outcome of Thursday's PCT meeting is known.

The Homeopathic Hospital also houses community paediatrics and a child and adolescent mental health service, but it is just the homeopathy department that is under threat.

Supporters of the hospital have claimed any decision to cut the service would devastate its users and cost the NHS far more in the long run.


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