Doncaster patients encouraged to buy more medicines over the counter

Patients are being encouraged to buy over the counter medicines to reduce the number of prescriptions, as part of a new campaign led by Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group.

By Rochelle Barrand
Thursday, 28th March 2019, 3:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 3:53 pm
Dr Jeremy Bradley, GP and Prescribing Lead, Doncaster CCG and Pharmacy Manager, Lynn Murrie.
Dr Jeremy Bradley, GP and Prescribing Lead, Doncaster CCG and Pharmacy Manager, Lynn Murrie.

The campaign has been launched to help raise awareness of the importance of self-care among patients in the borough.

The ‘Choose self-care’ campaign has been launched following guidance from NHS England to stop routinely prescribing over the counter medicines for 35 common conditions, such as sore throats, mild cystitis, head lice and mild acne.

Nick Hunter, Chief Officer of Doncaster Local Pharmaceutical Committee added “One of the major benefits of pharmacies is that no appointment is needed, and a clinically trained pharmacist will be available for confidential health advice.

“Your local pharmacy is the best place to go for the treatment of common healthcare conditions, keeping GP services and other services such as the emergency department free to see patients with more serious conditions.”

The ‘Choose self-care’ campaign follows on from a regional campaign, led by the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, which was released in November and sought to find out people’s views on purchasing over the counter medicines. 

The 569 million reasons campaign had more than 3,300 responses, with 82 people of people stating they would be happy to pay for medicines that were available to purchase over the counter.

A response to the regional campaign will be made in the coming months, but the in the meantime, the ‘Choose self-care’ campaign aims to make it clear how much it costs the NHS to prescribe routinely available medicines in a drive to reinvest that money on other local NHS services and treatments for more complex conditions.

Dr Jeremy Bradley, Local GP and Doncaster CCG Prescribing Lead, said: “The NHS belongs to everybody and therefore together, we must ensure that its resources are used in the best possible way for all patients.

“The 569 million reasons campaign shows that a significant majority of people are happy to purchase over the counter medicines, depending on their condition and the self-care campaign aligns with these initial findings.”

It will also help to increase the number of appointments available, enabling GPs and General Practice Nurses to spend more time supporting complex conditions.

Following guidance from NHS England, probiotics, vitamins and minerals sold as food supplements will also no longer be prescribed. Instead, self-care and a balanced, healthy varied diet should help people maintain optimum vitamin and mineral levels.