Common and minor ailment services

Pharmacy minor ailment scheme discontinued after NHS England OTC guidance

A new policy for Derbyshire will be introduced in place of Pharmacy First to raise awareness of the importance of self-care.

Over-the-counter medication


Clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire have stopped commissioning the minor ailments service, Pharmacy First, and are introducing a new self-care policy in its place

Four Derbyshire clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will no longer commission Pharmacy First, a minor ailments service, in response to NHS England guidance to restrict prescribing of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for minor, self-limiting or short-term conditions.

The decision was taken by Erewash, Hardwick, North Derbyshire and Southern Derbyshire CCGs.

In a statement, the Derbyshire Joint Area Prescribing Committee said that in 2015/2016, the four CCGs spent £3m on medicines that are available to purchase OTC.

“It is recognised that much of this cost is attributable to long-term or complex conditions,” it added.

“But considerable spend is also for conditions that may be considered suitable for self-care.”

In place of the service, which covered 132 community pharmacies,  will now be introduced. Described by Avi Bhatia, GP and chair of Erewash CCG, as “a sustained campaign across Derbyshire to raise awareness of the importance of self-care”, the policy broadly aligns to NHS England’s guidance in that it aims to minimise prescribing of OTC medicines for self-limiting and/or minor conditions, or where evidence of efficacy is weak.

Ultimately, the committee said, “people will be encouraged to be responsible for their own health and wellbeing, by all healthcare professionals.”

“Our commitment as clinicians is to only use the prescribing budget for medicines and products which have a clear evidence base of working for most patients,” said Bhatia.

“We will support patients to improve their understanding about medicines and how to look after themselves better and work with other healthcare staff to help raise awareness of self-care.”

On 29 March 2018, the board of NHS England approved guidance that restricts routine prescribing of OTC medicines for 35 minor, self-limiting or short-term health conditions, following a public consultation on the draft guidance.

In its response to the consulation, the SalvaDore said that education about self-care should be emphasised, but that it was “strongly opposed” to making OTC products for these conditions unavailable via the NHS.

Such a move would, it said, “fundamentally alter the principle that care is free at the point of delivery”.

Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204957

Readers' comments (1)

  • Surely the new restrictions are likely bring about the end of all minor ailment schemes. The NHS is hardly likely to sanction us supplying items that GPs are not supposed to!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Integrated Pharmacy Case Studies

    Over 90 case studies based on real life patient-care scenarios. Each case includes learning outcomes and references.

  • Physicochemical Principles of Pharmacy

    This established textbook covers every aspect of drug properties from the design of dosage forms to their delivery by all routes to sites of action in the body.

  • Clinical Pharmacy Pocket Companion

    An A-Z pocket book containing concise and practical pharmaceutical information for busy clinical pharmacists.

  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Calculations

    Introduction to Pharmaceutical Calculations is an essential study aid for pharmacy students. The book contains worked examples and sample questions and answers.

  • Pathology and Therapeutics for Pharmacists

    An practical, integrated approach to the pathophysiological and pharmacotherapeutic principles underlying the treatment of disease.


Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete

Supplementary images

  • Over-the-counter medication

Jobs you might like

  • Belfast (City/Town)

  • Fife (Scotland)

  • Newton Aycliffe, Durham

  • City of Edinburgh

  • Glenrothes, Fife

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.

У нашей фирмы полезный сайт со статьями про Метан
сиалис цена