The University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is looking for a grade 8b pharmacist to dish out sugar pills at the The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (formerly known as the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital before it all got a bit too embarrassing.)
At a time when the NHS is under increasing financial and organisational pressure, the RLHIM thinks it is acceptable to pay someone to dispense homeopathic sugar pills.
At grade 8b, this would be a highly experienced and qualified pharmacist with post-graduate qualifications. Whereas in reality, all you need to do to dispense homeopathy pills is to be able to scoop sugar pills out of a tub and into a bottle, print out a label with a spell on it, hand over to the ‘patient’ and try to keep a straight face.
Even in Glasgow, the last stronghold of NHS homeopathy, the hospital has seen fit to close down its homeopathic dispensary.
According to the job description, the requirement for a postgraduate qualification is relaxed in favour of someone who has a qualification in ‘Integrated Medicine’, whatever that is. (Also, interesting to see reviewers note on this suggesting it be put in!)
Integrated medicine is of course a weasely term for the integration of superstitious and pseudoscientific nonsense into health care.
As career opportunities in the strangled NHS might be difficult, such a role might be tempting. But these are dangerous waters to be entering.
The dispensing of the vast majority of homeopathic remedies is likely to become quite difficult soon. Whilst a pharmacist will have rights to dispense remedies as they see fit, the supply of such remedies may become difficult as the largest market is with lay homeopaths – the medically untrained version of the homeopath you find on the High Street. It is illegal for such homeopaths to dispense unlicensed remedies, and due to the consolidation of the Medicine’s Act that will come into force in the next few weeks, the landscape is likely to change enormously as they will not be able to buy remedies from suppliers legally.
Due to a hugely misconceived and muddled campaign by homeopaths to try to get the law changed, it is now obvious to all that homeopaths are operating illegally when they dispense unlicensed pills. Since only a few of their pills have licenses, it is likely the homeopathic pharmacies will collapse when he regulations change and enforcement is called for. Lay homeopathy is in desperate straights.
And when the bulk of retail homeopathy disappears, the newly appointed pharmacist at the RLHIM may have trouble sourcing the giant tub of sugar pills they need to earn their £50K. Of course, they could make their own remedies, but where are they going to source their own ‘dolphin sonar, ‘light from venus’ and ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex’?
So concerned are medical homeopaths about the impact of the consolidated legislation that they too are calling for all patients and supporters to write to their MPs.
For interested job applicants, I would suggest they keep a good eye on the new blog, Malleus Homeopathicum. You will not find a better appraisal of the law on homeopathic remedies and the impact of the regulation consolidation and the sorry state of the campaign to subvert it.