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"The government often says that it takes the best scientific advice but the Department of Health seems to have something of a blank spot when it comes to alternative medicine.….Perhaps it is the dire lack of anyone with a scientific education in government. Or could there be something in the rumour that the DoH lives in terror of being at the receiving end of a rant from the general direction of Clarence House if it doesn't behave? Whatever the reason, the matter has still not been referred to NICE, despite many requests to do so…..If the NHS employs homeopaths or spiritual healers because they are nice people who can elicit a good placebo effect, the human resources department will insist that they are fully-qualified in myths.…..There is a solution to all of this. There is room in the NHS for nice, caring people, to hold the hands of sick patients. They might be called 'healthcare workers in supportive and palliative care'. They could do a good job, without any of the nonsense…..All that stands in the way of this common sense approach is the rigidity of human resources departments which demand formal qualifications in black magic before you can cheer up sick patients. The overformalisation of nonsense has done great harm." Article by David Colquhoun, Professor of Pharmacology, University College London (National Health Executive journal, Nov/Dec 2008) [pdf]