The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, recently re-named as the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM), has been one of the most influential homeopathic hospitals in the world. It was founded in 1849 by Dr Frederick Foster Hervey Quin. In 1895, a new and larger hospital was opened on its present site in Great Ormond Street. Many famous homeopaths have worked there, including Robert Ellis Dudgeon, John Henry Clarke, James Compton Burnett, Edward Bach, Charles E Wheeler, James Kenyon, Margaret Tyler, Douglas Borland, Sir John Weir, Donald Foubister, Margery Blackie and Ralph Twentyman. In 1920, the hospital received Royal Patronage from the Duke of York, later King George VI, who also became its president in 1924, and in 1936, the Hospital was honoured by the Patronage of His Majesty the King gaining its ‘Royal’ prefix in 1947. Today, Queen Elizabeth II is the Hospital’s Patron.
On 18 June 1972, 16 of the hospital’s doctors and colleagues on board were killed in a plane crash. During the following years, several reductions in size and income took place. From 2002 to 2005, the hospital underwent a £20m redevelopment and, in 2010, its name was changed to Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine.
The hospital just published a new brochure for patients. It contains interesting information and therefore, I will quote directly from this document.
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The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM) is part of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and accepts all NHS referrals. GP referrals are by letter or via Choose and Book. Patients can also be referred by their NHS hospital consultant.
NHS Choices provides information and an opportunity to provide feedback about our service at www.nhs.uk
The General Medicine Service is led by three consultant physicians. The team also includes other doctors and nurses, a dietitian, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist and a psychotherapist. The service sees patients with chronic and complex conditions. The team is trained in many areas of complementary medicine. These are used alongside orthodox treatment, allowing them to offer a fully integrated General Medicine service. The General Medicine Service offers a full range of diagnostic tests as well as a variety of treatments and advice on orthodox treatment.
From 3rd April 2018, The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM) will no longer be providing NHS-funded homeopathic remedies for any patients as part of their routine care. This is in line with the funding policy of Camden Clinical Commissioning Groups, the local NHS body that plans and pays for healthcare services in this area.
Should you choose you will be able to purchase these medicines from the RLHIM pharmacy, while other homeopathic pharmacies may also be able to supply the medicines. You can speak to your clinician or the RLHIM pharmacy at your next visit about this…
Conditions commonly seen include:
- Recurrent infections, such as colds, sore throats, cystitis, thrush, chest infections and bacterial infections
- Some persistent symptoms where tests have not revealed a serious underlying disorder
- Asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Digestive disorders, for example acid reflux, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease
- Endocrine (glandular) disorders such as under-active thyroid
- Type II diabetes
- Some types of heart disease, high blood pressure and palpitations (requiring no orthodox treatment)
- Chronic headache such as migraine or tension-type headache
- Side effects of prescribed medications
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Clearly, the big news here is that the RLHIM has been forced to stop providing NHS-funded homeopathics. This could be indicative of what might soon happen throughout NHS England.
But there are other items that I find remarkable: “The General Medicine Service offers a full range of diagnostic tests as well as a variety of treatments and advice on orthodox treatment.” Call me a nit-picker, but this is not INTEGRATED! Integrated medicine means employing both alternative as well as conventional therapies in parallel. The best of BOTH worlds and all that…
In the same vein is the statement that they treat “some types of heart disease, high blood pressure and palpitations (requiring no orthodox treatment)” I am sorry, but this again is not INTEGRATED MEDICINE! I ask myself, is it ethical to mislead patients, colleagues, NHS officials and everyone else pretending to deliver ‘integrated medicine’, while in fact all they seem to offer is ‘alternative medicine’?
The RLHIM has recently dropped the term HOMEOPATHY from its name. Soon it might have to also abandon the term INTEGRATED, because it does not seem to be able to provide a safe level of conventional medicine.
How shall we then call it?
It is not the “homeopathic” or “integrative” term they should drop, but rather, the word medicine. They should call it The Royal college of integrative …therapy, remedies, ritualistic healing, folk therapy, or mind body connection. But not Medicine.
I would recommend the “Skeptics with a K” podcast that goes into some of the detail behind this http://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/2018/01/skeptics-with-a-k-episode-215/ For those who are familiar with how NHS commissioning works, it provides an insight into its sometimes byzantine working.
The relevant part starts at 42:15
How about ‘Royal London Hospital for Pseudomedicine (plus a few real therapies)’?
Orthodox medicine plus heterodox medicine = integrative medicine is the implication.
If non-CAM medicine is orthodox then CAM medicine must be heterodox.
The brochure does raise questions about the status of orthodox medicine in the hospital. Does the hospital first treat patients in the same way as any other hospital in the NHS would but then sprinkle some heterodox medicine into the mix? Or is it heterodox medicine first and then sprinkle some orthodox medicine on top, or is it simply advice about orthodox medicine?
Royal Hospital for Murky Malarkey.
“Murky Malarkey” retired from the northern working men’s club comedy circuit years ago.
Royal London Water and Sugar Dispensary?
For the record, the leaflets the RLHIM have so far changed to state that they will no longer be providing homeopathy or herbal products are:
General Medicine Service
Podiatry and Chiropody
Western Herbal Medicine Service
‘Royal London Hospital’ – obviously.
Yes, there will be confusion with one of the same name in Whiitechapel, but when RLHfIM first came up with its new title and started their marketing, I wrote to the Whitechapel RLH CEO and pointed this out – they were not bothered and not prepared to take the issue up with the Privy Council whose responsibility it is to regulate use of ‘Royal’ titles.
I if HM does not mind the confusion, it would be impertinent for her subjects to do so.
“Clearly, the big news here is that the RLHIM has been forced to stop providing NHS-funded homeopathic. This could be indicative of what might soon happen throughout NHS England.”
It is no good to share part of the information. The real update is that NHS is moving into bankruptcy. And the reason:
“Seven leaders including Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, warned justice secretary David Gauke that the rising cost of clinical negligence claims was having a significant impact on the health service.
The health and social care secretary, Jeremy Hunt, was also copied into the letter, which was sent on Monday.
The group, which includes the chairs of the British Medical Association and the Academy of Medical Royal colleges, said the NHS spent £1.7bn on negligence claims last year and the annual cost has doubled since 2010/11.
They added that the estimated total liabilities, which is the cost if all current claims are successful, stands at £65bn, up from £29bn in 2014-15.”
“The group said: “We fully accept there must be reasonable compensation for patients harmed through clinical negligence but this needs to be balanced against society’s ability to pay.”
“Payouts given to NHS patients who have been victims of negligence should be reduced because they are unsustainable”, health service leaders have told the justice secretary.”
Negligence will continue. That is NOT unsustainable.
Imagine the outcome when high value scientific medical interventions are stopped. The fun begins.
too stupid a comment to merit a response
I am aware of your new found love for the Indians(1 Indian killed by Epsom salt finds mention in your post) and the scorn you have started showing for the British (billions of scarce resources being wasted and no helpful advise from you).
What has changed?
You can write yourself, fellow Iqbal, spare yourself the time of copy-pasting.. Nobody checks the completely irrelevant pieces you paste anyway. You could try talking yourself a bit, for a change. Write all you wish as you wish it were. No conventional medicine, an entire world of unprotected patients and an entire market of toy medicine juat for you. Type all your dreams-come-true!
OR ALTERNATIVELY: go yonder and multiply
The RLHIM has finally announced this on their web pages rather than hidden in their leaflets:
The RLHIM have also just removed the following from list of services:
Complementary cancer care clinic
Complementary cancer care service – children adolescents and young adults
Weight Loss Clinic
Given this news and given that RLHIM haven’t even had a homeopathy service for several years, this announcement last week is rather surprising:
Ayush ministry signed MoU with Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital
Out with orthodox, in with conventional.
Apparently the hospital intends to continue “research/teaching” unconventional medicine. Royal London Hospital for Integrating Conventional and Unconventional Medicine.
I have been a patient at the Royal Hospital for Integrated Medicine since 1975 and I don’t give a damn about the nit picking in the comments.
I have Crohns Disease and ankylosing spondylitis and would have had to have an ileostomy if it had not been for the treatment I received at this wonderful hospital. If I had stayed with any of the other hospitals I had attended I would also have osteoporosis due to the large doses of steroids I was being given and which had no benefit regarding my disease. In 1976 I asked for all my treatment to be taken over by the Homoeopathic Hospital – as it was then – because my conventional gastroenterologist at Queen Mary’s in Roehampton refused to honour any shared care arrangements and said he would remove me from his list if I continued to go there.
The Homoeopathic Hospital agreed to my request and I went into the hospital for 7 weeks. My numerous drugs were cut by over two thirds and my steroids brought down from 30mg per day to 2.5mg. I started to feel much better and was given the minimum dose of conventional medicine with some alternative treatments. Within a week the hospital had contacted St Marks Hospital for diseases of the Bowel asking for a list of all treatments in clinical trials at the time as the doctors knew that I would need some conventional medicine to stabilise my Crohns. My amazing Consultant, the late Dr Thomson Walker put me on a clinical trial which had terrific results. I stabilised and, although I had been retired from the Civil Service on health grounds and told by the Consultant at Guys Hospital that he had informed the Civil Service Medical Dept. that in his opinion, I would never be able to work again it turned out wonderfully for me as I was able to go to university and get two degrees and go back to dancing despite my back. In 1975 I had spent 17 weeks in three different conventional hospitals to no avail. The seven weeks in the Homoeopathicf Hospital in 1976 was the last time I have had to be admitted to any hospital except for one night at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel due to sepsls caused by that hospital. In the following years I had some of the best doctors in the country looking after me e.g.Dr Michael Jenkins F.R.C.P. and the late Physican to the Queen, Doctor Peter Fisher. This is the best hospital I have ever attended but the disgrace is that my NHS funding has been removed and I have to pay for treatment. Worse still, I have had to go back to a conventional hospital – the Royal London at Whitechapel – against my wishes and on pain of having my medications stopped by my G.P. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter what treatments the Homoeopathic Hospital uses, they restored my health to a level where I had quality of life and you would be surprised at the number of patients who feel as I do and have had great outcomes from going there.
We are of course glad, Ms. Booth, whenever we hear of someone who has hitherto survived a serious disease without major concerns.
Crohn’s disease is a heterogenous, inflamatory intestinal disease that may naturally come and go into spontaneuos remissions and even ebb out despite lack of treatment. Having had the privilege of meanwhile being attended by the Crown’s homeopath and other entertainers, is no proof of the efficacy of their remedies, only of the practitioner’s gulliblity and powers of persuasion.
Stories told by the lucky one’s who survived serious diseases despite having scorned medical advice, are only proof of the survivor bias fallacy. Look it up.
So after a patient has been treated by an MD, and a inflammatory intestinal disease may have naturally come and gone into spontaneous remission, why would we need to assume that the MD should be given credit for the remission ?
The question can be posed to both types of practitioners. You only want to assume that a spontaneous remission occurs when treated by a practitioner than an MD ?
No double standards please.
What a revealingly ignorant response! Science., “RG”, science based knowledge, logic and rational thinking. Something you have shown that you refuse to understand and probably never will learn, in your blinding little bubble of resentment.
Because, RG, this is what controlled trials are designed to tell us about any particular therapy. It’s what the placebo arm is all about. And these trials tell us that homeopathy has no effect beyond placebo. Unlike, say, Infliximab which has been shown to be truly life-changing in many patients with Crohns,with way less side-effects than older immunosuppresive treatments such as steroids and methotrexate.
Please try to apply just a tiny bit of thought before trying to make a point.
Thanks for sharing your story…. very interesting.
The idea that medication provided by the science based medicine community is failing has been a subject of discussion here already in other threads. Many meds that MD’s prescribe to ill patients no only lack in benefits. but also add toxins that cause additional problems to the patient.
This ought not to be, and is a major failure of Science Based Medicine today.
when will you look up RISK/BENEFIT BALANCE?
we all know you are not fast at the uptake, but it’s time now!
I determine my own risk/benefit, not what SBM says it is. I gave SBM an opportunity for many years, and they failed. Now I’m in charge.
but you seem to be a fruit case, to put it mildly, aren’t you?
In many patients Crohns disease comes and goes. They are lucky enough to have remissions. This is not the case with me. My Crohns is chronic and I have only had one remission – a few months in 1970. Crohns is incurable and I never implied I was cured by the Homoeopathic Hospital. The disease was stabilised and the ankylosing spondylitis treated with bee sting injections which I continue to have twice yearly. I am not gullible and know as much as most doctors about my illnesses.
Nobody could have this sustained improvement over 44 years by accident. The treatment improved my life and removed me from the risk of long-term effects of steroid treatment and damage to my liver from the enormous and unnecessary amount of drugs I had been given by the conventional doctors.
I think you should understand that both Dr Jenkins and the Royal Rheumatologist ,the late Doctor Fisher are both Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians. This means they have been invited by the top conventional doctors in the country to become Fellows and that is despite the fact that they both hold similar qualifications in alternative medicines . Incidentally,
Doctor Fisher was senior research fellow in rheumatology at Barts Hospital prior to his appointment. How dare you suggest doctors of this calibre are quacks or charlatans? Do you think HM the Queen would have appointed him to be her personal Physician for seventeen years prior to his death last year if that had been the case?
I think you should look more closely at the defects with orthodox medicine especially long term side effects and life-long damage caused by orthodox medicine. Do you realise that a quarter of all hospital beds are taken up with patients suffering from iatrogenic illnesses caused by conventional medicine. In fact, many of the patients at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine are there due long term effects from conventional medicine. Also, you might be surprised to learn that many of these people are nurses working in conventional hospitals. Why would they come to us if the conventional treatment was so effective? I think you need to learn a great deal more about alterative medicine and my Hospital before criticizing a genuine attempt to help sick people who have not responded to conventional medicine.
Your subsequent comments suggest otherwise.
How do you know this? Unless your knowledge has been independently assessed you are, at best, assuming it – most likely Dunning-Kruger effect.
If you look at Dr Fisher’s record as recorded in these blogs, you will rapidly see how we dare.
I don’t see why she wouldn’t. Remind us, please, what medical qualifications she has (or why else you think she is less liable than anybody else to be gulled)?
Do you have any actual evidence for that assertion (if so, please provide it), or are we just meant to take it on faith? If the latter, I invoke Hitchens’s Razor.
And I think you need to learn a great deal more about what constitutes robust evidence. (Clue: “Evidence” is not the plural of “unverifiable anecdote” or “statistical outlier”.)
As for the Queen’s appointment to a succession of doctors from our hospital, she would have the best advice from the most prestigious doctors in the country who are orthodox. However, these same top specialists have now honoured at least four of our consultants with Fellowships to-date. Despite what you are implying, the tide is turning in our favour. I have been told by several orthodox consultants recently that they are very impressed (a) that I have not had to have surgery for my Crohns and (b) that my ankylosing spondylitis is so well managed. They accept that this has only occurred since coming to the R.H.I.M. as the treatments are so different from what they would use. In terms of my bee sting venom injections, the Professor of Rheumatology at Barts was very interested and other doctors have told me there is a real desire to use various venoms more.
This emphasis on what you describe as evidence amounts to what? Despite all the double blind tests it did not prevent the thalidomide tragedy and a long list of other similar things – the names of which I have forgotten. Neither have they prevented life-long damage to patients such as the use of steroids for example. I am satisfied that the hospital to which I am proud to be a patient has stabilised my disease for 44 years. Because I went there I have never needed any surgery for my Crohns and can walk and dance and do all exercise despite my ankylosing spondylitis when most other people of my age with this arthritic condition are using sticks and frames. At least, those who go to orthodox hospitals and they are all in pain and using N.S.A.I.D.s which I am not.
My information regarding the number of people taking up hospital beds comes from medical literature which I read when I was younger. Moreover, I rarely hear a good word about orthodox medicine from people I meet. It is all moans and groans about the medicines being useless and other things which have occurred since they were taking them. Also, I remember speaking to a doctor who had worked at Bristol Royal Infirmary and she said that the only hospital which was never criticised in that area was the Bristol Homoeopathic Hospital which has now been subsumed into the former.
Perhaps you will forced to change your ideas if you ever become ill with a chronic disease and have to go through the orthodox hospital system. You will soon find out how ineffective most of the treatments are.
I LOVE this lady…. keep posting katherine
just to reiterate;
” My information regarding the number of people taking up hospital beds comes from medical literature which I read when I was younger. Moreover, I rarely hear a good word about orthodox medicine from people I meet. It is all moans and groans about the medicines being useless and other things which have occurred since they were taking them.”
I love it ! Katherine
I call it “over-promise & under-deliver medicine”
And I’ve got a feally fit girlfriend. You wouldn’t know her. She goes to a different school.
That which is asserted without evidence, Katherine, can be dismissed without evidence.
I rarely hear a good word about alternative medicine from people I meet. It is all moans and groans about it being useless and other things which have occurred since they started using it.
My anecdote cancels out yours then, Katherine. Do you see how silly this is and why we need robust evidence to support the claims we are making?
I don’t think there were any double blind tests of thalidomide when it was first introduced. Though there have been plenty of double blind trials subsequently, for instance investigating its usefulness in the treatment of leprosy, and in multiple myeloma (for which it is now standard first-line treatment).
1) double blind trials are NOT for safety testing
2) the thalidomide story was the impetus for better drug regulation
How do you know this? Any actual evidence? Or are you just making it up and hoping that nobody will ask you to justify it?
Well obviously you were younger when you read something than you are afterwards! But no actual evidence for your assertion. Again. Just a vague appeal to “medical literature” which we are meant to take on trust.
Katherine, most of us in the reality-based community aren’t still wet behind the ears and are not just going to assume that a load of unverifiable assertions/anecdotes are true. I’ve already cited Hitchens’s Razor and Lenny has quoted it to you. Which bit of it do you not get?
You also bang on about thalidomide. Yes, that was a disaster. Mostly because it wasn’t tested on pregnant primates. But here’s a clue: unlike pseudomedical practices like homeopathy, evidence-based medicine has moved on in six decades. Of course it’s not all perfect: stuff that has a pharmacological effect can also have undesirable pharmacological effects, and the testing regime is not as open as most of us would like (but a damned sight more rigorous than for pseudomedicines!).
But that is irrelevant here. These blogs are dedicated to SCAM, not EBM, so appeals to problems with EBM are just silly tu quoque red herrings. Problems with EBM validate pseudomedicines like homeopathy in exactly the same way that the Hindenburg disaster validates magic flying carpets.
Thanks again for sharing your testimony. You are a breath of fresh air to me, as I have been at the blog message board for months espousing an proclaiming the hazards and pitfalls of failed science based medicine.
I’m sorry to hear about your suffering, but glad to hear of your successes.
I am really wondering whether some of these contributors are working on behalf of the pharmaceutical companies or are part of a conspiracy.,
If you ever have a chronic illness, please try the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. It is a wonderful place still despite the loss of in-patient beds. Don’t listen to the rubbish being spouted by these subscribers. My hospital is part of UCH and we can use their facilities and they can and do send us to specialists there for high tech procedures, operations etc. You have nothing to lose. There is not only orthodox medicine from top consultants, there is homoeopathy, herbal medicine, specialised injections for arthritic conditions, a multi disciplinary team for difficult to treat diseases led by Dr Christian Hasford FRCP who is one of the best specialists in chest and allergies in the country and works at both hospitals. In addition we do manipulative therapy, environmental and nutritional medicine, accupuncture. In fact, there is always something which will help.
I am giving you this information because I want everybody to know what is available as there seems to be a wall of silence about my hospital except for the smears from Dr Simon Stevens, Head of the NHS unfortunately and a few others who like to get their names in the newspapers.
Paranoia is a chronic affliction. I wonder why it seems the only problem homeopathy seems to fail at.
Further to my comment of yesterday and a reply to the comments received.