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OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICINES.PNGHave your say on proposed changes to NHS prescriptions in Southwark

NHS Southwark CCG is asking for patients' views on whether some medicines which are available over-the-counter without a prescription, medicines for malaria prevention and selected travel vaccinations, should no longer be prescribed by local GPs.

It is consulting on proposed changes which would mean GPs would no longer prescribe selected over-the-counter medicines, malaria prevention medicines for travel and selected travel vaccines.

CCG Chair and local GP, Dr Jonty Heaversedge, said: "The changes we would like to bring in, in relation to medicines for malaria and selected travel vaccines, will put us in line with national policy.  Also, under Southwark's Pharmacy First scheme, many of the over-the-counter medicines would still be available free of charge to people who are exempt from prescription charges.

"If you live in Southwark or are registered with a Southwark GP, we'd like to hear what you think. We are taking views from patients, staff and interested parties and will use the feedback you give us to help us make our decision on this in the autumn. If you may be affected by these proposals, or would like to make your views known, I urge you to complete our survey to get your voice heard."

If the proposals come into effect, it would reduce unnecessary pressure on GP surgeries and free up doctors and practice nurses to spend more time on people with more complex healthcare needs who require more active support in managing their health.

Also, the CCG would be able to invest the £750,000 a year saved to further improve local frontline health care services.

Many minor illnesses and conditions such as cough and colds, hay fever and stings and bites, can be treated through self -care, without the need to see a GP. Over-the-counter medicines are widely available from community pharmacies.

NHS patients are entitled to receive free advice about travel. Travel vaccinations included in the proposal would still be available from GP practices at a charge, or patients could be given a private prescription to obtain vaccinations elsewhere, such as a private travel clinic.

Consultation opens on 26 June and closes on 20 August 2017. There are various ways in which you can take part: MALARIA PREVENTION.PNG

  • Fill in the short survey here
  • Email us at
  • Write to us at: Prescribing Views, NHS Southwark CCG, FREEPOST RSCY-ACYH –CA2L, 1st Floor, Hub 5, PO Box 64529 London SE1P 5LX. No stamp needed
  • Visit our stall at the Our Healthier Southwark STP event on 11 July, 5pm to 8pm at Walworth Methodist Church.
  • Discuss at your practice's Patient Participation Group (PPG) meeting, if it takes place within the consultation timeframe. Ask at reception when the next one is.
  • Invite us to come and speak to members of your local group
  • Call us on 020 7525 7888.

Further information is available here, in our summary document  and our full consultation document