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Self Care


What changes have been made in relation to the prescribing of self-care products?

The NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in East Lancashire support GP practices in promoting self-care.

Self-care is a term used to include all the actions taken by people to recognise, treat, protect their own health, choosing choose appropriate treatments to manage illnesses and/or long term conditions.

Unless a patient meets a particular exemption, the CCG has decided to stop funding prescriptions for a range of products that are classed as ‘low priority’.

This will be because they are readily available over the counter in pharmacies and on the shelves in supermarkets, and include:

To make sure that NHS resources are used wisely, 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.

Why have the changes been made to stop prescribing these products?

For some of the products there is not much clinical evidence that they are effective in treating minor illnesses or their symptoms, and for all of the products they are readily available in shops and supermarkets.

As a local clinical commissioning group, we have a responsibility to use public resources in an efficient way, that is ‘value for money’ for the tax payer, and it is expected that the local NHS will be able to save around £500,000 a year by making these changes.

I have a long term condition and because of that I experience on-going chronic pain. How will I get the amount of pain medication I need when there are restrictions for over the counter purchasing?

Your GP will still be able to prescribe you those products because of your long term condition and pain management needs.

Which patients will be ‘exempt’ and will still be able to receive these types of products on prescriptions?

Your GP 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:

What is the full list of the types of products that will not routinely be prescribed going forward?

What if I don’t currently pay for prescriptions and can’t afford this change?

Most of the products are available readily at a reasonable price, particularly if they are pharmacy and supermarket ‘own brand’ versions of the products.

Where can I get the listed medications from if not from my GP?

Many of the medications are available from the high street or from supermarkets. Pain killers can be bought from as little as 20 pence and other medications can be bought for less than the cost of a prescription.

I have purchased a prescription pre-payment certificate specifically for one or more of these self-care products – can I get a refund?

Your local CCG will reimburse prescription prepayment certificates where these have been purchased by patients for the sole purpose of obtaining one or more self-care product on prescription. If this is the case, please contact the customer care team on freephone 0800 032 2424.

Where can I get advice or support about self-care and appropriate medicines?

You can find a wealth of information about self-care on the NHS Website. NHS web site Pages=Live Well

You should also make the most of your local pharmacist, who will be very knowledgeable about ways to treat your minor illness or symptoms. You do not need to make an appointment to speak to your pharmacist. Many pharmacies are open in the evenings and at weekends. Any consultation you have with the pharmacist will be confidential and discrete, in a private area of the pharmacy.


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