The NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) working across Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston are membership organisations led by more than 60 GP practices, responsible for planning and buying healthcare services for the local population. The CCGs do not have enough money to continue to buy all the services they currently do in the same way as before, so to address this they have needed to find ways of reducing costs in some areas in order to protect other essential services.
One of the areas that has been identified by the CCGs is the prescribing of certain ‘self-care’ products, which are seen as ‘low priority’ because they are readily available over the counter in pharmacies and/or on the shelves in supermarkets.
Following a public engagement survey which over 1,000 people have responded to, it has been decided to stop funding these types of prescriptions from 5 December 2016.
The products include:
- Treatments for minor ailments, including medicines like paracetamol, ibuprofen, head lice lotion and indigestion tablets.
- Treatments where there is little evidence that they have a real clinical benefit, including cough syrups, nasal congestion sprays, sore throat products and vitamin supplements.
The Local NHS spends around £750,000 on prescribing these products. This is money that could be better spent on more serious conditions.
To make sure that NHS resources are used widely, it has been agreed that only those treatments that are clinically effective and provide a clear health benefit to patients should be prescribed on NHS prescriptions.
GPs will use the policy to determine if you are exempt or not. The exemptions depend on the individual product or type of medication, but there are some exemptions for the following people:
- People with long term conditions and pain management needs
- Patients being care for at the end of their life
By keeping a selection of essential medications at home you can treat common conditions quickly and avoid trips to your GP.
Examples of treatments to be kept in your medicine cabinet are
Pain killers for minor aches and pains,
Tonics, health supplements and vitamins
Earwax removers, Hair removal cream
Lozenges, throat sprays, mouthwashes, gargles and toothpastes
Indigestion remedies for occasional use
Creams for bruising, tattoos and scars, Moisturisers and sun cream
All medicines should be stored in a safe place and out of reach of children. Always check expiry dates before using and return all out of date medications to your local pharmacist
Further information about this can be found
If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please contact the CCGs’ customer care team on 01772 214601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .