Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Education And Debate

Regulation in complementary and alternative medicine

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 20 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:158

Rapid Response:

Training in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for healthcare professionals

Mills is right to highlighting the importance of proper training and
regulation for healthcare professionals who practise CAM. But he is wrong
to imply that the provision does not exist. The Faculty of Homeopathy is
the body statutorily appointed to oversee the education and training of
doctors and other statutorily registered healthcare professionals in
homeopathy. We provide and continue to develop curricula and qualifying
examinations for doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives, pharmacists and
podiatrists - and vets, from introductory level for primary care
practitioners up to consultant specialist level. We accredit five
teaching centres in the UK, four of them based in NHS homeopathic
hospitals, where this curriculum is delivered, and are in the process of
accrediting an honours degree course for nurses at a British university.

We strongly deprecate the practise of homeopathy by health care
professionals who are not properly trained and qualified through this or
an equivalent accredited programme, and require that our members practise
within the bounds of competence, conventional and homeopathic, to which
they are trained. We favour a system of regulation which requires health
care professionals who wish to practise homeopathy to undertake this
training, and continuing professional development following on from it.

The main risks arising from CAM are not those directly due to the
therapies themselves, but the indirect risks due to limitations in the
therapists’ diagnostic and clinical knowledge and skills. These are less
likely to occur with medically qualified practitioners, who therefore have
an essential role in the development and delivery of integrated CAM

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 January 2001
Jeremy Swayne
Faculty of Homeopathy