Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group
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SOMERSET’S FAMILY DOCTORS TO PROMOTE GREATER SELF-CARE FOR MINOR AILMENTS

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Empowering patients to visit their pharmacy first and self-care for minor ailments will be accompanied by GP practices no-longer prescribing readily available products like shampoos, toothpaste, cold remedies, skin moisturisers and antiperspirants from 1 December 2016. 

Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation responsible for the planning and funding of Somerset’s health services, has approved a recommendation that local GPs stop prescribing products for minor illness or ailments such as throat-sprays, hair removing cream, and coughs and cold remedies.

At the meeting of Somerset GGG Governing Body on Thursday 17 November 2016, members approved the recommendation that GPs cease prescribing products for minor ailments more suitable for self-care non-formulary.

CCG Governing Body members also approved the recommendation for the county’s 72 GP practices to stop routinely prescribing gluten-free foods to patients with Coeliac Disease. Last year prescribing of such foods cost Somerset CCG some £350,000.

Commenting upon the decision, Dr Ed Ford, Interim Chairman of Somerset CCG, said:

“This difficult decision has been reached after a comprehensive review of the cost effectiveness of all areas of GP Prescribing. We also accepted the recommendation from the CCG’s Prescribing and Medicines Management Committee who concluded that continuing to spend over £3 million each year on such products was not a cost effective use of NHS resources. We will instead promote greater self-care by patients supported by health advice from all healthcare professionals including community pharmacies

“We are now letting all GP practices in Somerset know the CCG’s recommendation and we expect they will start to inform patients of the decision and cease to prescribe such products from 1 December this year.”

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