Homeopathic group “thrilled” as PSA approves quality mark

The Society of Homeopaths says it is “thrilled” that the Government-backed Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care has formally approved its voluntary register, establishing an independent quality mark for homeopaths for the first time.

Practitioners on the Society of Homeopaths’ register will be able to display the Accredited Voluntary Register (AVR) quality mark, a sign that they belong to a register which meets the Professional Standards Authority’s robust standards.

Miranda Parsons, chair of the Society of Homeopaths said: “We are thrilled that the Society’s register has been approved by the Professional Standards Authority. For over 35 years we have focused on high standards in the education and practice of homeopathy. The quality mark will give patients extra peace of mind by demonstrating that anyone who holds the mark is committed to high standards and professionalism. The Society is pleased to offer the quality mark to practitioners that meet the far reaching standards of our register, as approved by the Professional Standards Authority.”

Harry Cayton, chief executive of the Professional Standards Authority said: “We are pleased to accredit the Society of Homeopaths’ register of practitioners. Bringing practitioners into a broad framework of assurance is good for patients and the public and is the best way to promote quality.  The scheme supports choice, offers enhanced consumer protection to anyone looking for health and social care services, and gives practitioners the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment.”

But the PSA’s decision has been condemned by science campaigners. Simon Singh, chairman of the Good Thinking Society and co-author of Trick or Treatment? told The Times: “The PSA’s decision gives undeserved credibility to one of the highest forms of quackery known to mankind. It will encourage patients to make potentially dangerous decisions by steering them towards clueless quacks.”

• The Times also reports that Jeremy Hunt has “recanted” his past support for homeopathy, saying that it had been a “mistake” and insisting that “we have to follow the scientific evidence and spent money on what works”.