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Local people in Greenwich are being asked for their views on proposals to reduce prescribing of some over the counter medicines.

The proposals cover 35 minor and/or self-limiting conditions, including vitamins, minerals and probiotics, which were included as items of low clinical effectiveness but high cost to the NHS.

In the year prior to June 2017, the NHS spent nearly £570m on prescriptions for medicines which can be bought over the counter from pharmacies and other outlets such as supermarkets.

These prescriptions include items for conditions that will heal without medical treatment, where there is little evidence of clinical effectiveness or where they can be bought easily elsewhere. Examples of conditions for which prescriptions could potentially be restricted include coughs and colds, indigestion and athletes foot.

The consultation, which runs until 14 March, is being carried out by NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioners in order to create a consistent, national approach to prescribing.

Clinical commissioning groups – which are responsible for buying healthcare services for local people – are to receive guidance after the results of the consultation are known.

Click here for full details of the consultation.

NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is keen to hear directly from people who live in Greenwich and/or who are registered with a GP in the borough, especially if these proposals may affect you.

Once you have completed the consultation online, enter your email address when requested and you should receive an electronic copy of your feedback. To allow NHS Greenwich CCG to best meet the needs of people in the borough in any local commissioning decisions taken as a result of this consultation, please also send a copy of this feedback to: GRECCG.pharmacy@nhs.net

Dr Nupur Yogarajah, a local GP and clinical lead for prescribing at NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:

"This consultation gives people the opportunity to have their say on 33 conditions that either do not usually need treatment or where the treatment can be bought elsewhere, often at lower cost than if they are prescribed.

"National guidance on prescribing over the counter items for these conditions could save the NHS money and put an end to regional variations in what is available on prescription.

"In many cases, self-care can be more effective and convenient than visiting the GP and can free up your GP to see patients that require a doctor's consultation.

"Please do remember to send your completed feedback to Greenwich CCG. This will allow us to make sure that any decisions taken reflect local views."

Face-to-face events and webinars (online meetings) are being held to provide further information and to seek people's views on the proposals. Please follow the links below to book a place.

 

Face-to-face events

·         Mon 5 Mar (2 – 4pm) - London

Webinars (online meetings)

·         Wed 21 Feb (1 – 2:30pm)