Each year in Calderdale the NHS spends nearly £1.1million on medicines which are easily, and cheaply, available elsewhere; money that could be used to elsewhere in Calderdale’s health and social care system.
These are things that are readily available over-the-counter from pharmacies, shops and supermarkets, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Over a single year, that £1.1million could fund:
- 170 more hip operations
- 1,109 more cataract operations
- 74 more breast cancer treatments
- 35 more community nurses
To help reduce this, Calderdale CCG has launched a campaign to lessen the amount of these medicines prescribed by GPs.
This campaign will not stop the prescribing of any medicines; it’s aim is to encourage patients to buy over the counter medicines that can be used to treat common ailments rather than get them on prescription, and maintain a stock at home to take when they need it.
Dr Nigel Taylor, a GP at Hebden Bridge Group Practice and Calderdale CCG’s Prescribing Lead, said:
“We’re committed to providing the highest quality health and social care for everyone who lives in Calderdale, and by running this campaign we’re asking people to help us to do this by reducing how much we spend on medicines which are available ‘over the counter’ from pharmacies and supermarkets. We hope this campaign encourages people to purchase medicines like paracetamol over the counter, rather than getting them from their GP.
“We’re not asking people to go without medication they need – those who have the need for regular medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen because of long term medical conditions will still be able to get them on an NHS prescription.”
You can help us make best use of NHS resources by:
- Not asking your GP to prescribe medicines you can get over the counter in your local shop, supermarket or pharmacy, such as paracetamols and antihistamines
- Getting advice from a pharmacist as soon as you start to feel unwell
- Keep a well-stocked first aid kit at home to help deal with minor injuries (click here to find out what to keep in your first aid kit)
- Attending GP appointments, and cancelling appointments you no-longer need
Click on the following links to download copies of the campaign poster and leaflets: