Call to make alternative therapies free on the NHS

This Is Wiltshire: From left, osteopath Pauline Mather, Wroughton councillor Wayne Crabbe and chiropractor Jan Blankenstein, who want alternative therapies to be free on the NHS From left, osteopath Pauline Mather, Wroughton councillor Wayne Crabbe and chiropractor Jan Blankenstein, who want alternative therapies to be free on the NHS

SWINDON councillor Wayne Crabbe is campaigning for alternative medicines and therapies to be available free-of-charge on the NHS in Swindon.

Homeopathy, one of the most widely-practised alternative therapies, is provided on the NHS in Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool and London, but is normally only a privately-funded treatment in Swindon.

Homeopathy is a treatment based on the use of highly diluted substances, which practitioners believe can cause the body to heal itself. Other alternative therapies include osteopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy and massage.

The Royal Family have used homeopathy since the reign of Queen Victoria, and the current Queen is patron of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital and Ainsworths, the homeopathic pharmacy in London.

Coun Crabbe (Con, Wroughton and Wichelstowe), who first started using alternative treatments about 30 years ago, says it is against the core principle of the NHS that such therapies are only available to those who can pay, claiming Swindon residents deserve a democratic choice as to whether they choose to be treated with alternative therapies or prescription drugs.

He presented a report to Swindon Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee, indicating that in some cases, alternative medicines are more effective than some mainstream treatments and can save money on drugs.

Coun Crabbe said: “It’s totally unfair. Why is it right I can get an osteopath to manipulate my back just because I can afford it? It shouldn’t be about financial ability to pay for something.

“If it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s good enough for everyone else in the country. “If it’s good enough for people in Liverpool, London and Bristol to have it, it’s good enough for everyone in Swindon to have it.”

Coun Crabbe, who uses an osteopath based at the Health Hydro, in Milton Road, said: “I was popping painkillers because of the lower back pain that I had and it was when I was on Thamesdown Borough Council in the 1980s.

“Thamesdown Borough Council, when the doctors moved out of the Health Hydro to Carfax Street, put alternative therapy practitioners in there.

“Someone said to me they were quite good, so I just went along.

“It definitely works better than anything else. It’s instant.”

Comments (24)

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8:24pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Fox in Exile says...

I'd like to point out that the NHS is not FREE someone has to pay for it, and I for one am not happy about some of the current practices paid for by the NHS without paying for more loony ideas
I'd like to point out that the NHS is not FREE someone has to pay for it, and I for one am not happy about some of the current practices paid for by the NHS without paying for more loony ideas Fox in Exile

8:26pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Andy Simpson says...

When Mr Crabbe can show me multiple double blind properly conducted, suitably large, pieces of research that clearly show that Homeopathy or any other alternative therapy has more efficacy than placebo then, by all means, add it to the available treatments.
Until any of these therapies comply with the same level of burden of proof as medical treatments, they can remain a choice that people can pay for themselves.
When Mr Crabbe can show me multiple double blind properly conducted, suitably large, pieces of research that clearly show that Homeopathy or any other alternative therapy has more efficacy than placebo then, by all means, add it to the available treatments. Until any of these therapies comply with the same level of burden of proof as medical treatments, they can remain a choice that people can pay for themselves. Andy Simpson

8:45pm Mon 4 Feb 13

beach1e says...

there is a reason why it is tagged as alternative and if you have enough money to pay for it, all well and good, it certainly shouldnt be provided on the nhs. Too much money of decent hard working tax paying people is wasted already. this sums up swindons councils to most things, waste as much money as possible on folly.
there is a reason why it is tagged as alternative and if you have enough money to pay for it, all well and good, it certainly shouldnt be provided on the nhs. Too much money of decent hard working tax paying people is wasted already. this sums up swindons councils to most things, waste as much money as possible on folly. beach1e

10:01pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Sashstaff says...

Agree with above, like the NHS have money to waste on someone stick a candle in your ear or whatever.

Make the existing services work first!!
Agree with above, like the NHS have money to waste on someone stick a candle in your ear or whatever. Make the existing services work first!! Sashstaff

10:17pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Hmmmf says...

Let quacks make their money from the gullible and uneducated who can afford their quackery, as they always have. NHS funds are stretched far enough without having to shell out for snake-oil and faith-healing.
As Andy Simpson alludes above, there's a world of difference between anecdotal and empirical evidence, and it's a difference Mr Crabbe clearly doesn't understand.
Let quacks make their money from the gullible and uneducated who can afford their quackery, as they always have. NHS funds are stretched far enough without having to shell out for snake-oil and faith-healing. As Andy Simpson alludes above, there's a world of difference between anecdotal and empirical evidence, and it's a difference Mr Crabbe clearly doesn't understand. Hmmmf

11:56pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Phantom Poster says...

Absolute twaddle:

http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Homeopathy

But then again, Prince Charles believes in this crap and look at how much tax payers money is spent on him!
Absolute twaddle: http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Homeopathy But then again, Prince Charles believes in this crap and look at how much tax payers money is spent on him! Phantom Poster

6:33am Tue 5 Feb 13

Blackmalkin says...

Our current Secretary of State for Health (the man whose name is easy to mispronounce) believes in this crap too.
Our current Secretary of State for Health (the man whose name is easy to mispronounce) believes in this crap too. Blackmalkin

9:38am Tue 5 Feb 13

PaulD says...

what an absolute joke. He should be campaigning for the NHS to stop wasting money on this rubbish.

Do you know what they call alternative medicine once it has been proved to work?

Medicine.
what an absolute joke. He should be campaigning for the NHS to stop wasting money on this rubbish. Do you know what they call alternative medicine once it has been proved to work? Medicine. PaulD

9:41am Tue 5 Feb 13

PaulD says...

and in case anyone reading is uncertain about homoeopathy and other alternative medicines and therapies, please read Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre.

(www.badscience.net)
and in case anyone reading is uncertain about homoeopathy and other alternative medicines and therapies, please read Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre. (www.badscience.net) PaulD

10:15am Tue 5 Feb 13

benzss says...

Homeopathy is the most ridiculous, anti-science and fraudulent type of 'medical' treatment. Wayne Crabbe ought to be ashamed to promote the imbeciles who 'practise' it. What an utter charlatan.

While we're on the subject, how can we have an entire article about homeopathy on the NHS without mentioning that it has absolutely no value whatsoever?

Put it this way: if homeopathy worked, none of us would have any problems at all merely be virtue of drinking tap water.

What a load of utter and total rubbish.
Homeopathy is the most ridiculous, anti-science and fraudulent type of 'medical' treatment. Wayne Crabbe ought to be ashamed to promote the imbeciles who 'practise' it. What an utter charlatan. While we're on the subject, how can we have an entire article about homeopathy on the NHS without mentioning that it has absolutely no value whatsoever? Put it this way: if homeopathy worked, none of us would have any problems at all merely be virtue of drinking tap water. What a load of utter and total rubbish. benzss

10:39am Tue 5 Feb 13

Tim Newroman says...

Dear oh dear. This is exactly the last thing the NHS needs to be doing... introducing more massively expensive treatments that they'll perform badly and don't work even when performed 'properly' (and I use that word very, very lightly).
Dear oh dear. This is exactly the last thing the NHS needs to be doing... introducing more massively expensive treatments that they'll perform badly and don't work even when performed 'properly' (and I use that word very, very lightly). Tim Newroman

10:56am Tue 5 Feb 13

jerry59 says...

Don't take any notice of Crabbe, he's just a knob. People like him are not worth the time of day.
Don't take any notice of Crabbe, he's just a knob. People like him are not worth the time of day. jerry59

11:29am Tue 5 Feb 13

Davey Gravey says...

What about the millions wasted on animal testing? Alternative remedies work for many people.
What about the millions wasted on animal testing? Alternative remedies work for many people. Davey Gravey

11:41am Tue 5 Feb 13

TheAndy says...

Homeopathy is ridiculously quakery. If it makes you happy - good for you. But you should pay for it from your own pocket, not my taxes.

The people of Swindon have obviously got more sense than those in Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool.

BTW a lot of people confuse homeopathy with herbalism. They aren't the same thing at all. Go and read the wikipedia entry to find out how weird and ridiculous homeopathy really is.
Homeopathy is ridiculously quakery. If it makes you happy - good for you. But you should pay for it from your own pocket, not my taxes. The people of Swindon have obviously got more sense than those in Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool. BTW a lot of people confuse homeopathy with herbalism. They aren't the same thing at all. Go and read the wikipedia entry to find out how weird and ridiculous homeopathy really is. TheAndy

11:42am Tue 5 Feb 13

PaulD says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
What about the millions wasted on animal testing? Alternative remedies work for many people.
Wasted? such as what?
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: What about the millions wasted on animal testing? Alternative remedies work for many people.[/p][/quote]Wasted? such as what? PaulD

12:45pm Tue 5 Feb 13

AlexanderTG says...

Good to see Mr Crabbe has almost no support for his lunatic ideas, here at least. I do hope the good people of Wroughton and Wichelstowe remember this when it comes to council election time.
Good to see Mr Crabbe has almost no support for his lunatic ideas, here at least. I do hope the good people of Wroughton and Wichelstowe remember this when it comes to council election time. AlexanderTG

12:51pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Duckorange says...

Poor, wrong W. Crabbe
Poor, wrong W. Crabbe Duckorange

1:09pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Davey Gravey says...

PaulD wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
What about the millions wasted on animal testing? Alternative remedies work for many people.
Wasted? such as what?
Such as the testing on animals for medicines meant for humans. It's ongoing and funded by us. A waste of money.
[quote][p][bold]PaulD[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: What about the millions wasted on animal testing? Alternative remedies work for many people.[/p][/quote]Wasted? such as what?[/p][/quote]Such as the testing on animals for medicines meant for humans. It's ongoing and funded by us. A waste of money. Davey Gravey

1:17pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Tim Newroman says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
What about the millions wasted on animal testing? Alternative remedies work for many people.
I agree with you that millions (it's actually billions) of our money is wasted by the NHS. No doubt about that. Animal testing does have its place, though.

Alternative remedies 'work' in the same way that plenty of people get better regardless of what they do, or don't do.

Remember, placebos 'work' for many people...
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: What about the millions wasted on animal testing? Alternative remedies work for many people.[/p][/quote]I agree with you that millions (it's actually billions) of our money is wasted by the NHS. No doubt about that. Animal testing does have its place, though. [p] Alternative remedies 'work' in the same way that plenty of people get better regardless of what they do, or don't do. [p] Remember, placebos 'work' for many people... Tim Newroman

1:22pm Tue 5 Feb 13

benzss says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
PaulD wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote: What about the millions wasted on animal testing? Alternative remedies work for many people.
Wasted? such as what?
Such as the testing on animals for medicines meant for humans. It's ongoing and funded by us. A waste of money.
Why exactly is that a waste of money? How deep is your understanding of pharmaceutical development? What do you know about genetic research?
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PaulD[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: What about the millions wasted on animal testing? Alternative remedies work for many people.[/p][/quote]Wasted? such as what?[/p][/quote]Such as the testing on animals for medicines meant for humans. It's ongoing and funded by us. A waste of money.[/p][/quote]Why exactly is that a waste of money? How deep is your understanding of pharmaceutical development? What do you know about genetic research? benzss

1:27pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Davey Gravey says...

All things tested on animals eventually have to he tested on humans, often finding the testing has been a waste of time and money. Those that do it will say its worthwhile as they want to keep their jobs.I'd skip the animals bit and test on murderers and rapists etc.
All things tested on animals eventually have to he tested on humans, often finding the testing has been a waste of time and money. Those that do it will say its worthwhile as they want to keep their jobs.I'd skip the animals bit and test on murderers and rapists etc. Davey Gravey

1:41pm Tue 5 Feb 13

benzss says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
All things tested on animals eventually have to he tested on humans, often finding the testing has been a waste of time and money. Those that do it will say its worthwhile as they want to keep their jobs.I'd skip the animals bit and test on murderers and rapists etc.
Oh, I see.

http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Poe%27s_Law
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: All things tested on animals eventually have to he tested on humans, often finding the testing has been a waste of time and money. Those that do it will say its worthwhile as they want to keep their jobs.I'd skip the animals bit and test on murderers and rapists etc.[/p][/quote]Oh, I see. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Poe%27s_Law benzss

2:32pm Tue 5 Feb 13

TheAndy says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
All things tested on animals eventually have to he tested on humans, often finding the testing has been a waste of time and money. Those that do it will say its worthwhile as they want to keep their jobs.I'd skip the animals bit and test on murderers and rapists etc.
I would test on the people who want to test on murderers and rapists.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: All things tested on animals eventually have to he tested on humans, often finding the testing has been a waste of time and money. Those that do it will say its worthwhile as they want to keep their jobs.I'd skip the animals bit and test on murderers and rapists etc.[/p][/quote]I would test on the people who want to test on murderers and rapists. TheAndy

3:46pm Tue 5 Feb 13

PaulD says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
All things tested on animals eventually have to he tested on humans, often finding the testing has been a waste of time and money. Those that do it will say its worthwhile as they want to keep their jobs.I'd skip the animals bit and test on murderers and rapists etc.
{sarcasm}
Well, that's helpful.
{end sarcasm}
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: All things tested on animals eventually have to he tested on humans, often finding the testing has been a waste of time and money. Those that do it will say its worthwhile as they want to keep their jobs.I'd skip the animals bit and test on murderers and rapists etc.[/p][/quote]{sarcasm} Well, that's helpful. {end sarcasm} PaulD

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