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“Better Health Starts At Home” Public Consultation on Proposed Changes To Prescriptions And Medicines Begins

“Better health starts at home” sets out proposals to make changes to the prescribing policy in Derbyshire. This would see less NHS money being spent on products for short-term minor illnesses where there is insufficient evidence of benefit or cost effectiveness and which are available to buy over-the-counter. The result would see more NHS money being available to invest in the diagnosis and treatment of serious medical conditions. The consultation opens on Monday 26 June 2017 and closes on Friday 1 September.  

Derbyshire has a total of 118 GP practices and in 2016/17 the four Clinical Commissioning Groups that cover Derbyshire paid out over £150 million on GP practice prescriptions. Of this, it is estimated that over £3 million was spent on medicines that are available to buy over-the-counter and which are only used for illnesses that often get better without any treatment. With increasing demands on NHS resources it is important to ensure that money allocated to the NHS is spent in the best possible way. 

“Better health starts at home” proposes changes to:  

  • Prescribing treatments and medicines for short-term, minor conditions - there is no planned change to the management of long-term conditions

  • Prescribing treatments and medicines where there is no clinical need for treatment

  • Prescribing products where there is insufficient evidence of benefit or cost effectiveness 

Under proposals put forward the four Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups would ensure:  

  • Support is given to patients to improve their understanding about medicines and how to look after themselves better

  • Medicines and products which are not proven to be effective would not be prescribed

  • Medicines and products are not prescribed where there is no clear need for treatment

  • Medicines and products are not prescribed for short-term, minor conditions and illnesses

  • The prescribing budget is only used for medicines and products which have a clear evidence base of working for most patients

  • Healthcare staff are supported to enable effective signposting of patients to further help with medicines or to help them find local patient support groups 

A spokesperson for “Better health starts at home”, said:  

“With ever increasing demands on NHS resources we feel now is the right time to be asking the public for their views on whether they think spending NHS money on prescribing products where there is insufficient evidence of benefit or cost effectiveness is the right thing to do.  

“Generally speaking illnesses such as the common cold, sore throat or minor cough can be effectively managed by the patient themselves or by a carer and naturally get better without any treatment and yet currently around 20% of GP time and 40% of their total consultations are used for common minor conditions that could be treated without seeing a GP*.  

“The ‘Better health starts at home’ consultation document gives you lots more information on this important issue. It explains in more detail why we want to make changes to the way some medicines and products are made available to patients via prescription and what this could mean for you. It will tell you how you can get involved and share your views with us and what we will do with your views once the consultation has finished.” 

The consultation document and questionnaire will be available at GP surgeries, pharmacies and other community venues in Derbyshire. It is also available on request and to view and download from the following websites: 

www.northderbyshireccg.nhs.uk
www.hardwickccg.nhs.uk
www.erewashccg.nhs.uk
www.southernderbyshireccg.nhs.uk 

The consultation feedback form is available to complete on Survey Monkey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/betterhealthderbys 

To request a consultation booklet or for more information, please email enquiries@northderbyshireccg.nhs.uk or call 01246 514 176.   

Derbyshire residents will also have an opportunity to share their views and ask questions at a number of drop-in sessions which are being organised to take place across Derbyshire. Once confirmed, details of these sessions will be published on the above websites.

Published: 26/06/2017