LETTER: ‘Patient, heal yourself...’

It is clear to most of us that the NHS and social care have become undeserving targets for this Government.

To be specific, a real concern is that the Personal Independence Payments (PIP), based on flawed and insensitive guidelines, could be linked with changes being suggested in the latest NHS survey to make savings.

An unintended outcome, one would hope.

Question five of the survey for the NHS Sustainability Transformation Plan (STP) plan purports the following: “Painkillers etc. can be bought at most supermarkets and/or pharmacies cheaply. We are considering stopping routine prescribing of these products for minor conditions which will get better on their own. How acceptable is this?”

On the surface this seems to make common-sense and a valid argument.

However, when combined with the attitude of this Conservative Government and that of Number 10 advisor George Freeman’s statement that PIP should go to ‘really disabled people rather than those taking pills at home who suffer from anxiety’, to exclude those from payment who are self-prescribing at home because of anxiety is not only disingenuous but potentially dangerous without a general practitioner or pharmacist seeing them.

What we don’t know is whether self-prescribing patients will still be eligible to financial support from PIPs.

Will they have protection from side effects if painkillers are taken with other drugs?

Will they be able provide authentic evidence to fit the ‘criteria’ for a whole range of support packages from councils if they self- prescribe by purchasing painkillers via the internet or supermarket?

Here is the survey link for anyone to complete.

Please do so but be careful what you agree to – www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk/news?item=1326

Cllr Hazel Thorpe

High Street

Tarring

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