In a move which could save the local NHS an estimated £800,000 per year, NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is seeking views on plans to stop prescribing medicines which could easily be bought over the counter instead.

Nationally there are 57 million GP consultations each year for minor ailments, a situation that costs the NHS approximately £2billion a year and takes up to an hour a day on average for every GP. The majority of the medicines that are prescribed at such appointments could be bought over the counter instead for much less than the cost to the NHS.

The CCG is looking for views on which prescribed treatments could be stopped and bought over the counter.  The list of possible treatments to be stopped includes; cough mixtures and cold remedies, simple pain killers for short term pain, nasal sprays and tablets for hay fever, wart and verruca treatments, cold sore treatments and sunscreens, amongst others.

A survey is being carried out to understand the views of local people, on how they feel about buying medicines over the counter.  The more people take part in the survey the better informed the CCG will be on what the residents of Blackpool want.

Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool CCG, said: “Self-care, where people manage simple, short-term conditions themselves, is widely acknowledged as an important solution to help keep the NHS sustainable. We want to encourage people to take more responsibility for their health care whether that is in choosing not to go to A&E for a non-life threatening condition or choosing to visit their local pharmacy or supermarket to buy medicines for minor ailments.

“We will save thousands by stopping the prescribing of these types of treatments. It will also free up more GP time so they can see patients who really need their expert care and knowledge.

“It is essential that we take on the views of the patient as they will be the ones left to buy the medicines themselves. We need to hear from as many people as possible from across the town.”

The survey can be found by clicking here. 

A paper copy can be requested by calling 01253 951349 or emailing: ccgcomments@blackpool.nhs.uk.

You can also drop in to one of the CCGs Your Voice sessions at the below times and places and give your views on this and any other topic.

  • Tuesday 16 August 2016, 10am-12 noon, Moor Park Library, Bristol Avenue FY2 0JG.
  • Wednesday 17 August 2016, 10am – 12 noon, Revoe Library, Revoe Street FY1 5HN.
  • Thursday 25 August 2016, 10am – 12noon, Central Library, Queen Street FY1 1PX.

The survey will close on Friday 9 September 2016.