Proposed changes to NHS prescriptions in Southwark

We are seeking 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 Southwark.

Our consultation started on 26 June and ends on 20 August 2017. During this time, we would like to share our proposals and for you to give us your views.

On this page you can find the full consultation document, summary document and complete our online survey.

What are the proposed changes?

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

  • Self-care medications for short term minor illnesses and injuries and health supplements

  • NHS prescriptions for malaria prevention medicines for travel

  • NHS prescriptions for selected travel vaccinations.

Why we are proposing these changes? 

To promote self-care

Self-care is about avoiding becoming ill, treating common illnesses at home and seeking help when needed. 

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.

To free up doctors' and nurses' 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 short term 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.

To bring us in line with national guidance

Our proposals for discontinuing malaria prevention 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. Southwark is one of only three areas nationally still 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.

To get the best value from the funding we have available

The primary care prescribing budget for Southwark is around £32 million for this year. Taken together, these proposals could save the NHS in Southwark around £750,000 a year. 

To fit in with wider local plans

These proposals are part of Southwark 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. We have also produced a summary document and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). 

Have your say

We are keen to hear from you if you live in Southwark, and/or are registered with a Southwark GP, especially if our proposals might affect you. 

We would like to know:

  • How much you agree or disagree 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 you have about our proposals

  • How we could reduce any possible negative impacts of these proposals on any groups of people in Southwark. 

  • How we should communicate with Southwark people about our decision and our plans

You can give your views by filling in our short survey


  • email us at
  • write to us at Prescribing Views, NHS Southwark CCG, FREEPOST RSCYACYH–CAZL, 1st Floor, Hub 5, PO Box 64529, London SE1P 5LX. No stamp needed.
  • Discuss at your practice’s Patient Participation Group meeting, if it takes place within the consultation timeframe. Ask at reception when the next one is.
  • Drop by our stall at the Our Healthier Southwark STP event on 11 July, 5pm to 8pm at Walworth Methodist Church.
  • invite us to come and speak to members of your local group  
  • phone us on 020 7525 7888

When will we decide?

After this consultation closes on 20 August, we will consider fully all the views we have heard. We expect to reach a decision about our proposals at our Governing Body meeting on 14 September. This meeting takes place in public and you are welcome to attend to hear our discussions.