NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (HMR CCG) has today (February 8th) launched a 30 day engagement phase to gather views on a proposal to implement NHS England guidance on over the counter medicines.
In March 2018, NHS England (NHSE) issued guidance to CCGs describing two treatments of limited clinical value and 35 conditions which may be self-limiting (i.e., will get better of their own accord) and suitable for patient self-care.
Underpinning the guidance are the principles of:
- Encouraging self-care
- Stopping prescribing of drugs of limited clinical effectiveness
- Reducing the prescription of drugs available over the counter for the treatment of minor conditions.
If the NHS can support people to self-manage common conditions such as coughs and colds this could help lower the 57 million GP consultations each year for minor ailments, which cost the NHS approximately £2 billion and takes up to an hour a day on average for every GP.
Between April 2017 and March 2018, HMR CCG spent £1.85 million on medicines that are available to purchase over-the-counter (OTC). Much of this cost is attributable to long-term or complex conditions, but considerable spend is also for conditions that may be considered suitable for self-care.
The CCG is inviting the views of as many people on the proposal to implement this guidance, the survey and more detailed information is available on the CCG’s website here www.hmr.nhs.uk/index.php/getinvolved until 5pm on March 10th 2019.