The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital may be under siege but the staff and patients remain relaxed. There has been no run on Gelsemium, the homeopathic remedy of choice for people paralysed by fear, in the pharmacy. Indeed, the only sign of trouble is the poster affixed to a pillar in the third floor waiting area alongside the stall selling Tick Tock redbush tea - the kind Precious Ramotswe drinks in the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
"Save NHS homeopathy", it says. Another poster urges supporters to join a lobby of parliament. Long before MPs from the cross party Commons committee on science and technology gave the thumbs down to homeopathy on Monday, people here knew what was coming. The remedies worked no better than a placebo, the committee said, and the NHS should cease funding.
It was a withering verdict but the hospital remains undaunted. There are no placards or demonstrators here. Just the usual crowd of patients – predominantly middle aged and female – that you find in any hospital waiting area. Supporters of homeopathy – practitioners and patients alike – are used to controversy and another bout of negative publicity, of which there is never a shortage, is not going to change their minds.
"I was irate," says Gillian Arneil, waiting for her appointment. "They don't understand what this hospital does for people. I come out of my GP's surgery banging my head and I come out of here feeling 10ft tall. This is the main homeopathic hospital and it is the Royal as well. You can't do better than that."
Graham McClarty taps me on the shoulder, anxious to tell me what homeopathy has done for him. A former policeman, he used to be off sick with bronchitis for extended periods at least twice a year. He tried a course of homeopathy, the bronchitis cleared up immediately. Today he has brought his wife here. "I just wanted you to know," he says.
Linda Tricker, fizzing with enthusiasm and anxiety in equal measure, describes the digestive problems that brought her here which orthodox medicine was unable to solve. "I had more investigations and consultations than hot dinners. My file was becoming fatter and fatter – the doctors said I was neurotic and sent me away with anti-depressants. The NHS did nothing for me," she said.
For many, this is the place of last resort. She has been coming for two years, referred by her GP, and says the hospital has seen her through the most stressful period of her life.