19th Nov 2019
People in Norfolk and Waveney are being urged not to ask their doctor for everyday medicines like paracetamol as Selfcare Week approaches (18th – 24th November).
In line with national NHS guidelines, GPs have been asked to stop prescribing ‘over the counter medicines’ unless in exceptional clinical circumstances.
Instead, people are being encouraged to buy them at a pharmacy or shop so that the NHS can spend the money it would otherwise would on other, more clinically serious, areas of healthcare. If more people self-care for minor ailments, it could also free up important appointment time at GP practices.
The CCGs have joined forces to launch the new campaign after figures showed the local NHS spent £7.4m last year on remedies for minor conditions such as diarrhoea and indigestion, as well as medicines such as paracetamol.
Michael Dennis, a medicines management expert with the CCGs, said: “Your first port of call if you’re suffering with a minor illness should always be your pharmacist. They are highly-trained healthcare professionals who can offer help and advice about a huge range of common illnesses without booking an appointment, as well as recommending the right medication to help you self-care at home. By speaking to them first, you could also save yourself a visit to your GP and help free up appointments for other patients in greater need.
“Doing your bit is simple, so please help your NHS by caring for yourself wherever possible and buying your own medicines so that we can make the best use of our resources for the benefit of everyone in Norfolk and Waveney.”
GPs still have discretion to prescribe items depending on clinical circumstances, for example for people who require large quantities of particular medicines for long-term illnesses.