Tackle health charities – Charities Commission fails to confront groups promoting alternative remedies of dubious benefit..

On the whole, these “treatments” are outside the Health Services, but some (Homeopathy) are very cheap and within it. Just because they are cheap does not mean they should be accepted. Many patients back two horses, starting with the homeopathic for self limiting conditions, but changing to conventional treatments if fearful. Deliberately depending on charities for palliative and terminal care is another matter..

The Sunday Times 5th June 2016 has a letter from Michael Baum, Professor Emeritus of Surgery and Visiting Professor of Medical Humanities at University College, London and others:

An investigation by the clinical scientist Les Rose highlighted a number of charities that discourage vaccination, encourage the use of homeopathic remedies for serious conditions and promote energy healing. These charities — including the Vaccination Awareness Network, the Maun Homeopathy Project, Gentle Touch Healing and the Keys College of Radionics — do not operate to benefit the public and should have their charitable status revoked.

Not only do such organisations represent a waste of donations, they encourage vulnerable people to take treatments that are not efficacious and can cause harm if used in place of effective remedies. That these charities are allowed to continue operating with charitable status shows the Charity Commission has failed in its duty.

Since July 2014 complaints have been made about a number of charities that promote dubious “health” practices and we are dismayed that the commission has apparently taken no effective action to address these concerns. If the commission cannot ensure charities meet the requirements of the Charities Act then there must be a full inquiry as to whether it is able to fulfil its statutory duty.

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This entry was posted in Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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