HEALTH AND CARE: Have your say on prescribed medicines

The changes would not affect people with a long-term condition
The changes would not affect people with a long-term condition

There is still time to have your say on whether more than 3,000 products that are currently available on prescription should be bought over the counter.

The local NHS is asking for the views of people across Coastal West Sussex to help us to respond to a national consultation.

While more people than ever before are calling on its services, our NHS is facing the biggest financial challenge it has known.

Last year, 1.1 billion prescription items were dispensed in the community at a cost of £9.2billion to the NHS.

Often patients are receiving items which have been proven to be ineffective or in some cases dangerous, and/or have more effective, safer, cheaper alternatives.

All clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England have been asked to respond to a national consultation on future guidance for doctors and nurses who prescribe medicines.

To inform our response to this national work, we are asking our local patients about their specific experiences and needs.

We will combine this feedback with clinical expertise and local insight to respond to the national consultation.

Have your say now – visit www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk

In part, the national consultation is reviewing items that are currently prescribed but:

• Could be purchased over the counter, sometimes at a lower cost that would be incurred by the NHS.

• Treat a condition that is considered to be self-limiting (will get better on its own) and so does not need treatment.

• Treat a condition that lends itself to self-care, i.e. that the person suffering would not need to seek medical care or treatment.

Some examples of these conditions include diarrhoea, cold sores, constipation, teething, insect bites and stings, conjunctivitis and sore throat.

We have already heard from more than 100 people but we are keen to understand the views of many more.

Our local survey asks people how acceptable they think the proposed changes are and if there any groups of people that may be disadvantaged by the planned changes.

We have already heard concerns around how people on low income would access the medication they need, how people in rural communities would be able to get their medicines, and how it would affect those with long term conditions.

Importantly, the changes would not affect people with a long-term condition, or something that could develop into a more serious health concern.

But, we are keen to hear about other groups of people that may be affected or areas we need to think about and feedback to NHS England.

Please take the time to have your say on this important issue.

If you would like to contact us directly about this piece of work, or do the survey over the phone or in another format, please email: contactus.coastal@nhs.net

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