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Discussion about how we use NHS resources: over the counter medicines

Date: 26 Feb 2018 -

14:30 to 16:00

Location: Conference Room, Voluntary Action Islington 200a Pentonville Road, N1 9JP

On 26 February Healthwatch Islington and Islington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) invite you to come and give your views about NHS England proposals to no longer routinely prescribe medicines that are already available over the counter, for certain medical conditions.

Nationally the NHS is facing a challenging time as demand for services continues to increase. A growing and ageing population, and more people living with long term health conditions, are placing further pressure on already stretched services and finances.

Each CCG is allocated an amount of money decided by the Department of Health, based on the size of the population and local health needs. Demand for healthcare in Islington is increasing every year.

It was identified nationally that an area where savings could be made which did not impact on people's health was with over the counter medicines. NHS England appointed a working group to review the available clinical evidence, and develop commissioning guidance for public consultation for conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed.

Work focussed on developing guidelines for an initial list of 18 products which fell into one or more of the following categories:

  • Items of low clinical effectiveness which are of high cost to the NHS, where there is a lack of robust evidence of clinical effectiveness
  • Prescriptions for minor illnesses which will actually clear up on their own through self-care, such as a sore throat.
  • Prescriptions for illnesses or conditions which will clear up with or without specific treatment (these are sometimes called 'self-limiting')
  • Products which are clinically effective but due to the nature of the product are deemed a low priority for NHS funding. For example, paracetamol for a headache, which can be bought over the counter at a pharmacy.

Anyone is welcome. We'd appreciate it if you could let us know you're coming by emailing emma@healthwatchislington.co.uk or calling 0207 832 5814.

*The venue for this event has changed. It will now take place at Voluntary Action Islington on Pentonville Road