MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

The UK Professional Standards Authority has just made this announcement:

The Professional Standards Authority has suspended the accreditation of the Society of Homeopaths (SoH) following its failure to meet Conditions set by the Authority during 2020. The suspension is effective from today.

Under the Accredited Registers programme, organisations can apply for accreditation of registers they hold of unregulated healthcare practitioners and must meet Standards set by the Authority. The SoH was first accredited in 2014. In February 2020 accreditation was renewed, subject to a Condition that included making its position statements clear that registrants must not practise CEASE, practise or advertise adjunctive therapies, or provide advice on vaccination.

Accreditation of registers is renewed annually, however where there are serious concerns, we conduct an in-year review. We undertook an in-year review of the SoH during the summer of 2020, after concerns were raised in relation to the appointment of a key official. As set out in the outcome of our in-year review three further Conditions were issued, the first two of which were due in October 2020. In December 2020, a Panel met to consider whether these had been met.

We found the Conditions were not met and that the SoH did not fully meet a number of our Standards. In view of the recurrent nature of the concerns, and that several Conditions had already been imposed on the SoH since February 2020, we decided to suspend accreditation.

The suspension will be reviewed after 12 months. To be lifted the SoH will need to demonstrate that it prioritises public protection over professional interests in its handling of complaints and governance processes. If the SoH can demonstrate that this is achieved through fulfilment of the Conditions and Standards earlier than 12 months then we will consider lifting the suspension sooner.

END OF QUOTE

For background information, the following posts might be helpful:

The UK Society of Homeopaths, a hub of anti-vaccination activists? (edzardernst.com)

The decision by the PSA to grant reaccreditation to the Society of Homeopaths is being challenged (edzardernst.com)

The Society of Homeopaths have a Code of Ethics, but seem to ignore it. I wonder why! (edzardernst.com)

Seven things you might want to know about ‘CEASE’ therapy (as practised by homeopaths and naturopaths) (edzardernst.com)

The UK ‘Society of Homeopath’ is an anti-vaxx hub that endangers public health (in my humble opinion) (edzardernst.com)

22 Responses to The accreditation of the UK ‘Society of Homeopaths’ has been suspended!!!

  • BMA Council has been notified.

  • How on earth did they get accreditation in the first place?

  • Excellent news! But it’s regrettable that the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care would have ever accredited an organisation that exists to promote an unproven, implausible, discredited, and unethical modality in the first place. So, if I decide to set up an organisation that claims to heal a wide range of disorders by, say, praying, or by sticking pins in a voodoo doll, presumably I can get accredited by the PSAHSC as long as I have a suitable ‘complaints procedure’ etc?

  • I have read the Wikipedia-article about the Professional Standards Authority. For my better understanding: What would be the comparable counterpart in Germany, if there is one?

  • As someone who does not share the anti-homeopathy bias generally displayed here:

    Serves them right for not fighting their corner and being a waste of space.

    They have been supine in the face of constant pseudo-skeptic attacks,
    and allowed unwarranted assumptions of the mainstream to prevail.

    • Bias might be a justified term. Prejudice certainly would not.

      As a ‘lay person’, unqualified in any medical field, I have over the decades developed a bias against believing that homeopathy operates beyond placebo. I have developed that bias from extensive reading on the subject. Like any other reasonable person, I remain open to evidence. But since no good body of reliable evidence has emerged in over two centuries, and since any such definite evidence would require a re-write of most science, my bias remains until corrected.

    • @ Will

      what you perceive as “anti-homeopathy bias” here is in fact your own “pro- homeopathy bias.”

      This is what is known in psychology terms as “projection.” This is when someone attributes to another person or group their own motives or attributes.

      What is generally displayed on this site is derision and arguments pointing to the many and varied reasons why Homeopathy is illogical, counter-intuitive, irrational, unscientific, based upon magical thinking and why if it were true it would require many well-established tenets of physics and chemistry to be completely re-written.

      It was dreamt up out of thin air – not postulated from sound principles. None of its underlying principles is based on sound reasoning – the whole enterprise is founded on magical thinking. There is no scientific evidence to validate any of these ideas.
      After 200 years it has not been demonstrated to be capable of curing or treating any disease any better than a placebo.

      Homeopaths as a group have repeatedly been demonstrated to be associated with anti-scientific thinking and advocacy – particularly anti-vaccine views and such things as CEASE therapy.
      These are among the reasons they are considered a potential risk to the health of members of the public who may consult them and who may not realize how unhinged some of their beliefs can be.
      Hence the interest of the PSA.

      If none of the above persuades you that your support of homeopathy may be even the smallest bit misguided perhaps you might consider the rationality of a health system that purports to capture “moon beams” and the “light from Saturn’s rings” and dilute them in a vial of liquid or on a sugar cube in order to cure an ailment?
      (The evidence for which is of course singularly lacking – surprise, surprise!)

      Homeopathy is a “belief” system like a religion – not a science. It is entirely “evidence free.”
      As such one is not “anti-homeopathy” in terms of being “biased.”
      Homeopathy is pure nonsense – that is a simple fact. It is complete and utter clap-trap.
      Anyone who supports homeopathy is a “believer” in spite of the factual, rational and scientific evidence to the contrary – and that is where any bias lies.

    • What a complicated way to say that you believe in magic.

      Which is entirely your choice, of course, and only becomes a problem when its believers pass it off as medicine.

      But sure, if you want to call putting peoples’ health and lives above your deeply-held beliefs “bias”, then biased we are. And if those priorities offend your delicate feels, then what does it say about yours?

  • “So, if I decide to set up an organisation that claims to heal a wide range of disorders by, say, praying, or by sticking pins in a voodoo doll, presumably I can get accredited by the PSAHSC ”

    I went to an acupuncturist – needles stuck all over me. And then, when I got home, my voodoo doll was dead!

  • “Fighting their corner”? That would have lead to suspension/removal of Accreditation a lot earlier. It’s bad enough that the Society of Homeopaths (SoH) demonstrated more than once that their assurances could not be trusted. Defending, say, use of “Complete Elimination of Autistic Spectrum Expression” therapy by members would have lead to removal of Accreditation in pretty short order.

    The Society of Homeopaths wanted the percieved benefits of Accreditation (most of which did not materialise) but were unwilling to pay the price.

  • I am not clear what this will achieve, given the current regrouping of CAM under the banner of ‘Integrative Medicine’: https://edzardernst.com/2021/01/a-new-definition-of-integrated-medicine/#comment-129557

    The PSA writes that the SoH needs to improve its ‘handling of complaints and governance processes’, but it is clear that a key issue was complaints about CEASE.

    Will homeopaths simply resort to PEASE, ‘Partial’ Elimination of Autism? That may be just as undesirable. I write as a psychiatrist with specialist GMC registration, and experience in developmental disorders, in the NHS and in private practice: https://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/3205688

    In order for the vulnerable public to be persuaded away from CAM, regulation is not enough. Decisions like this may even make CAM more attractive to some, given that CAM promoters can currently point to the blatant double standards of their critics, many of whom have links to the pharmaceutical industry at the university and ‘professional guild’ level, or even directly.

  • Good night Mr Ernst, I hope this email finds you well.

    Im a Physical Therapy student and I cannot thank you enough for everything you have made to develop my skepticism and my critical thinking. In my degree, we have two subjects on Osteopathy and other pseudosciences like acupuncture, Chiropractic or Kinesio Tape are well-considered among certain teachers.
    At the beginning, I felt alone in this battle against imaginary energies, magical devices and miraculous treatments, but some of my peers are starting to hearing me about that and they question our teachers openly about the infinite benefits of KT, so I think this can be considered a small victory, and its all due to you.

    Thank you so much for investing your time in educating us

  • All bow down and worship before the God of vaccines. Do not look behind the curtain. Dont question the orthodoxy. Repeat the mantra:
    [All] vaccines are safe and effective [for Everyone, All the Time]

  • This is what the SoH published about it:
    Suspension of PSA accreditation

    The Society of Homeopaths has taken part in the voluntary accreditation provided by the Accredited Registers Programme run by the Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) since 2014. This accreditation provides additional assurance to our members and their patients of the professional standards that we have promoted and maintained for over 40 years.

    Since July 2020 the Society has been working towards meeting a number of conditions laid down by the Authority following an In-Year review of its accreditation. Evidence of compliance with some of the conditions was due in February 2021 but as a result of an interim internal panel review of the Society’s progress on those due in October 2020, the PSA decided its accreditation should be suspended. The Society has now been given a 12-month window in which to meet the PSA requirements and have its accreditation reinstated.

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