Changing the conversation about health

Complementary Medicine Roundup – May 2019

AUSTRALIAN HOMEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION (AHA) REBUKES PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY AUSTRALIA (PSA) OVER ITS LETTER TO ALL PHARMACIES IN AUSTRALIA

An AHA press release (22.01.19) included the following statement:

‘…In an apparent move to pre-empt a pending decision by Australia’s Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has issued an open letter to community pharmacy banner and buyer groups in Australia instructing them to “cease all activities that encourage the stocking, promotion, recommendation or marketing of homeopathy”. The letter explicitly cites a flawed 2015 report by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) which is currently under investigation by the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The 2015 NHMRC report on homeopathy used arbitrary criteria to dismiss the findings of studies revealing the effectiveness of homeopathy. It is widely known that the matter has been under Ombudsman investigation since 2016 and that a decision is imminent…’

The Executive Summary – Commonwealth Ombudsman Complaint opens with the following submission:

‘…The findings of a formal investigation into NHMRC’s [The National Health & Medical Research Council] conduct of the Homeopathy Review reveals that [the] NHMRC has misled the public about the research evidence on homeopathy and has withheld critical information relating to its methods and procedures. 
The findings are fully detailed in a Submission of Complaint lodged with the Australian Commonwealth Ombudsman – a multi-stakeholder, multi-sector Complaint lodged by the Australian Homoeopathic Association (AHA), Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) and the Australian Traditional Medicines Society (ATMS)…’

CHARITY COMMISSION CONSULTATION ON COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES (DECEMBER 2018): REVIEWS

The outcome of this consultation was explored on page 3 of my February 2019 blog. The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) Statement on the Charity Commissions’ decision may be read here. “Charity Commission Releases Updated Guidance on CAM”, posted by the Integrated Complementary Alternative Medicine Hub, may be viewed here.

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE ACCEPTED BY THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION IN ITS CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES (ICD-11)

A news feature (26.09.18) by David Cyranoski in the influential international journal of science Nature may be viewed here. Chapter 26 of ICD-11 may be viewed here.

APPLY FOR A HANS WALZ RESEARCH GRANT?

The Hanz Walz Foundation at the Robert Bosch Foundation has announced a research grant for the study of the history of homeopathy at the Institute for the History of Medicine.

THE POWER TO CHANGE TRUST: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CAM

Power to Change is an organisation that funds and supports community businesses. I have been informed by the Head of Research and Policy at Power to Change that:

“…those operating in the complementary and alternative medicine sphere would be of interest to usif they were run as community services…”

The Research Institute Report No.15 “What works: Successful health and wellbeing community businesses (March 2018)”, published by Power to Change and funded through its research grants scheme, states in paragraph 2 on page 3:

‘…Community businesses are usually established by local communities in order to meet a local need, whether that is to revive local assets or protect the services on which local people rely. As such, community business models exhibit a range of different characteristics, and subsequently an equally diverse range of barriers and success factors. Thus, for the purposes of this report, a community business is defined as a business that is locally rooted, trades for the benefit of the community, is accountable to the local community and has a broad community impact (Power to Change 2018)…’

and in paragraph 3(1) on page 5: 

‘…3.1 Developing strong partnerships: A common theme across health and wellbeing businesses was the importance of developing and sustaining strong partnerships and working collaboratively rather than in competition with a diverse range of organisations. For most health and wellbeing businesses covered in the case studies, having an integrated and collaborative approach with partners was a fundamental enabling factor to the success of their businesses. For example, a partnership of businesses and stakeholders, such as general practitioners, social workers, diverse therapists and counsellors, all work as part of a collaborative network able to provide holistic services offering physical, social and mental support…’

[Note: bolding of above text added by me]

2019 FEDERATION OF HOLISTIC THERAPISTS (FHT) EXCELLENCE AWARDS: THERAPISTS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Entries are now open for the prestigious 2019 Excellence Awards. The FHT is the leading professional association for therapists, with thousands of members offering a broad range of specialism. 

The awards recognise how professional therapists are making a difference, in areas ranging from the provision of tailored learning and support to the next generation of budding therapists, to helping people in their local community improve their health and wellbeing through positive lifestyle changes and a range of therapies.

Christopher Byrne, the FHT’s President, commented, among other things, that:

“…‘With personalised care at the very core of the NHS Long Term Plan, there has never been a better time to share examples of therapy training and practice at its best…’

The closing date for entries is 28 June 2019.
 
For more information and to apply for the FHT Excellence Awards, visit fht.org.uk/awards
 

THE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND INTEGRATED HEALTH: AN ALL-INCLUSIVE MISSION

The College is the new force in British medicine, whose clinicians see medicine as a vocation not a job. Its members and leaders are innovators, who feel that medicine should become more effective in improving health, addressing inequalities and creating a sustainable health service.

The College’s mission is to redefine medicine to make it more relevant for the individual patient in a changing world. Its message is that medicine needs to become less confined to the purely biomedical.  Thus, an understanding of the patient’s hopes and beliefs, his/her history and culture and underlying mindset and values are as important as the accurate interpretation of population based biomedicine. The College sees health as a co-production between patient and professional, emphasising the role of patients and communities as assets in individual and local health.

This spirit of inclusiveness is intrinsic to the College, which welcomes patients and, uniquely, all clinical professionals, including those providing or receiving CAM, to its membership. To join the College, search here.

RICHARD EATON

May 2019