What alternative health

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“The most corrupt British public figure in living memory” used her cash to produce misleading quack report. The report [Smallwood Report] has proved to be very controversial because it was commissioned by Prince Charles and was sent directly to government ministers in an attempt to influence them to fund the provision of pseudo-medical treatments, such as homeopathy, within the NHS. Given, the unique constitutional position of the future monarch, direct lobbying over specific policy issues is seen as being in conflict with the democratic process.

Furthermore, when an academic, Edzard Ernst, criticised the report as being deeply flawed, the Prince’s private secretary, Sir Michael Peat, wrote to the University of Exeter to complain about the whistle-blowing of Ernst. Since then, The Prince’s charity, the Foundation for Integrated Health has stated that Peat wrote to Exeter on their behalf as Peat was their chairman. However, this was not true as the complaint clearly stated that Peat was writing both in his role of “Prince of Wales’ Principal Private Secretary and as Acting Chairman of His Royal Highness’ Foundation for Integrated Health”.

The origin of the report had a peculiar origin too. Originally commissioned by the Foundation for Integrated Health by asking the economist Christopher Smallwood and the research consultancy FreshMinds to take a “fresh and independent look at the role of complementary medicine” in the NHS, it suddenly switched to being directly commissioned by the Prince of Wales himself. And when the Prince took direct responsibility, the funding appeared to switch too. In a comment on my last blog post, Ernst makes it clear that the money was coming from Dame Shirley Porter and that Smallwood made it clear the Prince did not want it to be known who was behind the financing.” The Quackometer (6th April 2010)