Local NHS campaign to deter people from requesting common medicines on prescription

NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees CCGs spend around £1.3m in total each year on medicines which are readily available over-the-counter, a cost which is equivalent to 1,380 cataract operations.

The new campaign being launched by the CCGs in Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees encourages people to think about using NHS resources more effectively and to purchase small quantities of over-the counter-medicines for short term use from a local shop, supermarket or pharmacy.

Over-the-counter medicines include:

Antihistamines – a type of medicine used to treat a number of allergic conditions such as hayfever, itching, bites and stings.
Painkillers – paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Nasal sprays for acute nasal congestion.
Haemorrhoid treatments.
Cough and cold remedies.

By choosing inexpensive in-store brands, patients can buy their medicine for less than half the price the NHS pays when providing them on prescription.

The CCGs in Kirklees will be promoting this message through leaflets, posters, websites and social media and explaining that the money spent locally each year on prescribing over-the-counter medicines is equivalent to:
211 Hip operations
1,380 Cataract operations
91 Breast Cancer treatments
43 Community nurses

They’ll also be advising people to speak to their pharmacist for advice on treating minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema and athlete’s foot.

Advice on how to manage common ailments such as mild pain can also be found on the My Health Tools portal. Health advice and information about your nearest pharmacy and opening times is on the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk.