As part of an NHS self-care policy for South Devon and Torbay, patients are being urged to buy low-cost medicines and supplies from high street outlets rather than get them on prescription.
The aim of this is to reduce the £500,000 spent on medicines and supplies for minor ailments last year. This money, spent on medicines readily available through other means at a lower cost to patients, could have been better spent on treating more serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
As part of the self-care policy, all GPs and pharmacies in South Devon and Torbay now have a leaflet that explains why the CCG is promoting self-care and how patients can support this new initiative.
A new report by NHS England shows that one in four GP appointments are potentially avoidable, and that about one in 18 people could be treated by self-care or seen by their community pharmacist.
Pharmacies can help with a range of common conditions and minor injuries, including aches and pains, cystitis, colds and skin rashes. Any consultation you have with a pharmacist is confidential, and an appointment is not necessary to see a pharmacist, who is often available in the evenings and at weekends.
The leaflet is here and a news release is here.
Related information on gluten free prescribing is here.