​NHS prescriptions in Lambeth

This consultation closed on 23 June 2017.

Our Governing Body met in public on 5 July 2017 and considered a report on the proposals to make changes to the prescribing guidance around over the counter medicines, malaria prevention medicines for travel and selected travel vaccines in Lambeth. Views expressed during the consultation were presented to inform the decision. Following discussion, the Governing Body agreed the proposed changes: to no longer support the routine prescribing of the following products on the NHS:

  • Self-care medications for acute (short-term) illnesses and medication for minor ailments and health supplements
  • Prescriptions for malaria prevention medicines for travel
  • Prescriptions for selected travel vaccinations.

You can find the report here.

_______________________________________________________________________

How we reached these decisions

From 3 April to 23 June we shared information and asked for your views on our proposals to make some changes to prescribing guidance around over-the-counter medicines, malaria prevention medicines for travel and selected travel vaccines in Lambeth.

What are the changes?

We proposed to no longer support the routine prescribing of the following products on the NHS:

·         Self-care medications for acute (short-term) illnesses and medication for minor ailments and health supplements
·         Prescriptions for malaria prevention medicines for travel
·         Prescriptions for selected travel vaccinations.

Why we proposed these changes 

Self-care of minor conditions

Self-care is about avoiding becoming ill, treating common illnesses at home and seeking help when needed.  It is also about managing any conditions you have in a way that puts you in control and improves your quality of life. If more people are able to meet their minor health needs through self-care, this will ease the pressure on NHS services.

The medicines covered in this proposal can be purchased from your pharmacy or a supermarket. The NHS recommends everyone keeps a well-stocked medicine cabinet with self-care medicines.

Freeing clinical time for those most in need

The proposals for over the counter medicines support our plans to promote self-care and the self-management of minor and self-limiting conditions, and to reduce unnecessary demand on GP time, including out of hours services. This will free up clinician time for people who have more complex healthcare needs and who need more active support in managing their health.

National guidance

Our proposals for discontinuing malaria prevention (prophylaxis) medicines on NHS prescription for travel have been supported by public health specialists. If taken forward, the proposals will bring guidance back in line with national policy. Lambeth is one of only three areas nationally offering malaria prevention medicines through the NHS.   

Proposals to discontinue providing selected travel vaccines have been developed in consultation with public health specialists and aim to standardise local provision.

The cost of medicines

The primary care prescribing budget for Lambeth is £35 million for this year. Taken together, these proposals could save the NHS in Lambeth £1 million each year. 

Local plans

These proposals are part of Lambeth plans within the community-based care workstream of the South East London Sustainability and Transformation Plan, Our Healthier South East London. Similar discussions are taking place in each borough within south east London, as well as in many other areas of the country.

Further information

The full proposals are available in the consultation document here.

Have your say

During the consultation period we made efforts to hear from people  living  in Lambeth, especially if our proposals might affect them. 

We wanted to know:

  • How much people agreed or disagreed with of our proposals to:
  • encourage people to use over the counter products to treat acute minor illnesses and conditions that get better with time, rather than to provide them on NHS prescription
  • stop offering malaria prevention medicines on NHS prescription 
  • stop offering selected travel vaccinations on NHS prescription
  • Any specific concerns people had about our proposals
  • How we could reduce any possible negative impacts of these proposals on any groups of people in Lambeth 
  • How we should communicate with Lambeth people about our decision and our plans

Getting views

People were able to give us their views by 

  • Filling in a short survey (online or on paper)
  • emailing us at lamccg.pharmacyviews@nhs.net
  • writing to us at Prescribing Views, NHS Lambeth CCG, 1 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7NT
  • attending a Patient Participation Group meeting at Lambeth GP practices – we suggested patients ask at reception when the next one was
  • inviting us to come and speak to members of their  local group  
  • phoning us on 0203 049 5749

We hold a Public Forum before each Governing Body meeting, where any member of the public may ask questions on any topic. People were also advised they could come to ask us about our proposals at our 3 May session. You can find details here.

Making a decision

We reached a decision on 5 July 2017 at a meeting in public of our Governing Body. You can find details here.

Updated 7.7.2017