People living in Fylde and Wyre will be unable to receive items such as paracetamol, throat lozenges and dandruff treatments from the NHS from 1 July 2018.
NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made the change following national guidance from NHS England. The guidance was developed following a 12-week public consultation period.
It means treatments for 35 conditions, most of which will clear up on their own or by using medication available over the counter, must be paid for at a pharmacy, shop or supermarket.
Dr Tony Naughton, clinical chief officer at the CCG and a GP in Thornton, said: “Conditions such as sore throats, infrequent migraines, head lice, conjunctivitis and constipation can be uncomfortable, but are treatable with medication bought from most pharmacies or large shops.
“We understand this change may inconvenience some people who may have previously received medications on prescription but the NHS needs to ensure its limited funds are spent wisely.
“If you are suffering from a minor health complaint and are not sure what to do, there is always the option of going to seek medical advice from your local pharmacist who can also advise on the best treatment you can buy.
“I would also urge everyone to make sure their home medicine cupboard is fully stocked with a range of painkillers, cold remedies, sun cream, anti-diarrhoea tablets, indigestion remedies and a basic first aid kit.”
As part of the national consultation, the CCG promoted a survey produced by NHS England and also asked for feedback from patient groups including patient participation groups (PPGs) at the region’s GP practices and the Influence Panel. The overall local response was in support of making the change.
Once the change comes into effect, it will bring an end to the Pharmacy+ Clinic scheme that had been run across 33 of the region’s pharmacies.
Dr Naughton said: “Pharmacy+ was very successful but was never intended to be a permanent service.
“Having received the national guidance it meant most of the items available via Pharmacy+ were no longer available on prescription so naturally it came to a close.
“Pharmacists do continue to provide a valuable service to patients across Fylde and Wyre and are still able to provide free consultations in private on a drop-in basis and to give medical advice regarding possible treatments.”
- NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the organisation responsible for planning and buying health services in the area to meet patients’ needs. This is known as ‘commissioning’.
- Led by family doctors (GPs), the CCG currently serves a population of 152,000 people across approximately 320 sq km of coast and countryside. The majority live in the urban towns of Fleetwood, Thornton, Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Lytham St Annes, but a significant proportion live in rural villages.
- The CCG receives a set amount of money from the government and is committed to spending this wisely for the benefit of local people.
- Giving you more choice is a priority of the modern NHS. More information is available at fyldeandwyreccg.nhs.uk/choice
- The NHS Constitution sets out your rights as an NHS patient: nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/NHSConstitution/Pages/Overview.aspx
- There are many ways to get involved in health service developments, including joining our Influence membership scheme or your practice’s patient participation group.