NHS West Norfolk CCG launches community outreach event as part of the ongoing Medicine Waste campaign

26th Nov 2014

A community outreach event will be taking place on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, as part of an ongoing NHS campaign aimed at reducing unnecessary waste of prescription medicines.

The event aims to encourage the public to think about medication use and offer an opportunity to discuss disposing of unwanted, unused and stockpiled medicines with a member of the Medicine Waste team.

Local health chiefs have estimated that an incredible £1.2 million is lost each year in West Norfolk through medicines waste alone.

The event is taking place at: Boots Pharmacy 94-96 High St, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE30 1BL, between 9am and 4pm.

The team will be providing shoppers with information about:

  • only ordering what they need;
  • returning their unwanted medicines to their pharmacy for safe disposal;
  • taking their medicines with them when they go into hospital.

Dr Paul Williams, West Norfolk CCG’s Governing Body member responsible for Prescribing and Education, said:  “It is important for us to get out and speak to NHS patients so they are aware that by only ordering the medicines they need does not mean they will no longer get the medicines they only sometimes need. They can always order these when they require them at a later date, as once medicines have been dispensed, they cannot be recycled.

“In addition, many people are unsure of how to dispose of their medicines particularly, home carers who are looking after family members, neighbours or friends and have come across a stockpile of unused medicines which means that patients are not getting the benefit they could from their prescriptions but also represents a large cost to the NHS.

“With a few simple considerations, patients could help save the NHS millions each year.”


Around half of the UK population do not take or use their medicines as prescribed. This can occur for a number of reasons, including:

·      Patients not believing the medicine is necessary;

·      Possible side effects;

·      Fitting, taking or using medicines into daily routines;

·      Choosing between medicines if patients’ feel they are taking too many;

·      Cutting down or stopping medicines they have been taking for a long time.

Events are taking place across the region to inform patients about their treatment and to help people understand more about their medicines and the options they have.

Further information may also be found on the national website www.medicinewaste.com


Notes to editor:


  1. The latest report from the Department of Health http://bit.ly/1nR1NCJ (Nov 23rd 2010) cited Medicine Usage Reviews as a potential way to reduce waste.
  2. In 2011, NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) issued new guidelines to healthcare professionals on how to involve patients in making decisions about prescribed medicines and reduce the number of people not taking or using their medicines correctly.
  3. The campaign will encourage patients to have regular reviews of their medicines and to discuss any issues they may have with their medication with their GP or pharmacist. Anyone with unwanted medicines can return them to their local pharmacy where they will be disposed of safely.


Issued by Emily Arbon, Communications Manager, West Norfolk CCG.