There are now 35 medical conditions for which your GP will no longer issue a prescription.
Conjunctivitis, head lice and ringworm are among the diseases and conditions for which you cannot ask the doctor for an NHS prescription. The NHS is rolling back prescription drugs to save GPs time and in a bid to save the money it spends treating minor ailments.
Many people are unaware of this decision and make an appointment to see their GP anyway. People with the conditions listed below are now urged to visit their pharmacy or supermarket instead to find over-the-counter treatments.
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It comes as NHS prescription fees in England are to be frozen in the latest move by ministers to ease the cost of living crisis amid fears that squeezing family incomes could hurt the Tories. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the charges – which normally increase with inflation – will take place this year to “put money back in people’s pockets”.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the freeze, which is the first in 12 years, will save patients £17million. This means the fee for a single prescription will remain at £9.35, while a three month Prepaid Prescription Certificate (PPC) will remain at £30.25.
The NHS says it has to make tough choices about how best to spend taxpayers’ money, BirminghamLive reports. He explained: “By reducing the amount the NHS spends on treating these minor health conditions, the NHS can prioritize treatment for patients with more serious conditions such as cancer and mental health conditions.”
The NHS has compiled a list of medical conditions that no longer require you to make an appointment with a GP. Medicines for these diseases will no longer require a medical prescription, following a public consultation that took place from December 2017 to March 2018
Here are the 35 conditions for which you do not need to see a GP:
- Acute sore throat
- Coughs, colds and nasal congestion
- milk crust
- Diarrhea (adults)
- Dry eyes/tired and sore eyes
- Excessive sweating
- Indigestion and heartburn
- infant colic
- Infrequent cold sores of the lip
- Infrequent constipation
- Infrequent migraine
- Insect bites and stings
- mild acne
- Minor burns and scalds
- Mild cystitis
- Slightly dry skin
- Slightly irritating dermatitis
- Mild to moderate hay fever
- Minor conditions associated with pain, discomfort, and fever (for example, body aches and sprains, headaches, menstrual pain, back pain)
- mouth ulcers
- Nappy rash
- oral thrush
- Prevention of tooth decay
- Ringworm/athlete’s foot
- Teething/mild toothache
- Travel sickness
- Warts and warts
However, there are exceptions to this list. Some patients may need prescriptions for a listed condition for various reasons, such as a long-term condition, where over-the-counter medications may not be effective. Probiotics and vitamins will also no longer be prescribed because people can get them from a supermarket or health food store.
The NHS said: “A GP, nurse or pharmacist will usually not give you a prescription for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for a range of minor health conditions. This is due to government policy to reduce the amount of money the NHS spends on prescriptions to treat minor ailments that usually get better on their own.
“Before these changes in 2018, the NHS was spending around £569 million a year on prescriptions for drugs that could be bought from a pharmacy or supermarket, such as paracetamol.”