Luton Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Luton Clinical Commissioning Group


Changes in NHS prescribing in Luton given the seal of approval

11 May 2018

News graphic
Medicines for short-term conditions widely available in shops and supermarkets will no longer be routinely provided on prescription on the NHS in Luton from 1 June 2018.

The changes to the policy on prescribing in Luton will free up around £110,000 of NHS funding annually - which can be prioritised to provide services that benefit the whole of the local population.
The move follows the local consultation carried out last year by Luton Clinical Commissioning Group (LCCG) and aligns with the recommendations of the national consultations by the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) last summer and NHS England earlier this year.
This means that medicines including paracetamol, muscle rubs, vitamins and cough and cold remedies will not be prescribed routinely for short-term illnesses. LCCG’s Board Members endorsed the decision at a meeting earlier this week (8 May).

The Department of Health and Social Care have also announced national changes to the provision of gluten-free foods on prescription and are progressing with plans to have only gluten free bread and mix products available on prescription later in the year. 

Dr Chirag Bakhai, Clinical Director at LCCG and local GP said: “The NHS pays much more than the consumer for the same over the counter medicines and gluten-free products.
“We have taken the decision to limit gluten-free foods available on prescription to only breads and flour mixes. Prescribing foods like gluten-free biscuits and pizza bases on the NHS is incongruent with our messages about healthy eating. Unlike previous years where availability was limited, a wide range of gluten-free foods are now sold in supermarkets.
”The majority of minor illnesses resolve on their own without any treatment. If needed, medicines such as antihistamines or paracetamol are available over the counter. By limiting these products on prescription for short-term, self-limiting illnesses, funding can be reinvested to benefit the whole of the population of Luton. These changes will not affect people needing to take such medicines long-term”.
LCCG are launching an awareness campaign across Luton to highlight the types of minor illnesses that can be treated at home using medicines that can be bought over the counter.
Visit your local pharmacy for help and advice on minor ailments and common conditions, or visit NHS Choices

Notes to editors

Availability of Gluten-free food on prescription
List of products of over counter medicines that will no longer be available on prescription in Luton: 
Illnesses that can be treated using over the counter medicines and illnesses that don’t last long or illnesses that go away on their own:

1. Acute sore throat

2. Cold sores

3. Conjunctivitis

4. Coughs and colds and nasal congestion

5. Cradle cap

6. Haemorrhoids

7. Infant colic

8. Mild cystitis

Illnesses that people can treat themselves:

9. Contact dermatitis (allergic rash)

10. Dandruff

11. Diarrhoea in adults

12. Dry eyes / sore tired eyes

13. Earwax

14. Sweating too much

15. Head lice

16. Indigestion and heartburn

17. Infrequent migraines

18. Infrequent constipation

19. Insect bites and stings

20. Mild acne

21. Mild dry skin/sunburn

22. Mild to moderate hay fever

23. Minor burns and scalds

24. Conditions which are not serious but might cause pain or fever. For example sprains, headaches, period pain or back pain.

25. Mouth ulcers

26. Nappy rash

27. Oral thrush

28. Prevention of tooth decay

29. Ringworm or athlete’s foot

30. Teething or mild toothache

31. Threadworms

32. Travel sickness

33. Warts and verrucas 

Other medicines you can get over the counter: 
Probiotics and Vitamins and minerals

Luton CCG
Luton Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for the 240,000 people who live in Luton. This includes hospital, community health and mental health services.
LCCG is run by GPs, nurses, hospital doctors and other clinicians – the people you see whenever you come into contact with the NHS. 28 GP practices in Luton are members of the CCG.

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