Doncaster CCG and its members do not support the prescription of vitamin and minerals, medicines and treatments for minor or self-limiting conditions, where:
- Self-care is the most appropriate route
- Medicines and treatments are available to buy
- over the counter
Our NHS has been spending around £569 million a year on prescriptions for products for minor ailments that can be bought from a pharmacy or supermarket, such as paracetamol. This is not cost effective nor does it empower patients to be in charge of their own health. By managing minor health needs through self-care rather than public funding, it will help to ease cost and appointment pressure on practices and enable patients to take responsibility for their condition. Released NHS funding and appointments can be better used for other medical conditions that need medical intervention or that are more difficult to treat. This provides a better balance between public and individual responsibility.
The national campaign to reduce inappropriate use of resources has been led locally by NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) of which the GP practices in Doncaster are members. It is providing support via various social media outlets, websites and text messages and direct to practice materials such as leaflets, poster and videos.
Treatment for minor and self-limiting conditions such as colds, hayfever and head lice have been decommissioned in Doncaster (and other CCGs) and should no longer be routinely available from Doncaster practices on NHS prescription. Appointments should not be requested for these conditions. This is in line with NHS England’s guidance which is broadly supported by the General Medical Council and the BMA.
GP Practice and pharmacy staff can provide patients with a list of the minor and self-limiting conditions. There is broad access for advice on medicines use, e.g. community pharmacists, NHS 111, which can be used to enable self-care before seeking advice from a GP or a Nurse. Individuals are expected, where possible, to try to alter their diet and life-style if it is probable that this is the cause of a minor health problem, e.g. dyspepsia.
Medicines can be purchased over the counter (OTC) from community pharmacies and/or supermarkets. These often have extended opening times therefore allowing rapid access and early treatment, rather than delaying treatment by attending a GP appointment for a prescription.
Doncaster CCG has maintained a minor ailment scheme which allows patients to obtain some treatment via certain pharmacies for minor ailments or self-limiting conditions without having to buy them or have a prescription. This includes some prescription only medicines.
For further information patients can contact the patient relations team at Doncaster CCG firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit the NHS England webpage:
or read up on the regional “569” reasons campaign
Licensing of OTC preparations and exceptionality information can be found here http://medicinesmanagement.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/guidelines/self-care-resources/