A number of medical treatments which are currently prescribed by the NHS are set to be axed and an NHS governing body will consult on proposals to slash 17 products from a menu of medication which should be routinely prescribed by GPs, including medications for head lice, sunburn and common colds.
The move comes as health bosses said the conditions could improve on their own with time or could be treated with shop-bought medication and the plan has been put forward by NHS Liverpool’s governing body which has caused discord among councillors in Liverpool, who insist that it displays instability in the health service with some branding the move as sickening.
And members of the council’s health and adult social care select committee passed an emergency motion opposing the move, amid concerns that the elimination of these products will leave the most disadvantaged people struggling to treat specific conditions.
The 17 conditions that risk being cut all focus on a longer NHS England list of conditions which it stated local health bosses could contemplate withdrawing from GP prescription lists.
The conditions that prescriptions face being cut for include:
- Acute Sore Throat
- Coughs and colds and nasal congestion
- Cradle Cap (except were causing distress or not improving)
- Head Lice
- Infant Colic
- Infrequent Constipation
- Mild Cystitis
- Mild Dry Skin/Sunburn
- Minor burns and scalds
- Mouth ulcers
- Prevention of dental caries
- Sun Protection (except ACBS approved indication of photodermatoses)
- Vitamins and minerals (except a medically diagnosed deficiency,
- Osteoporosis and malnutrition
- Warts and Verrucae
This country already has a high level of deprivation and these changes could leave people having to make a choice between head lice lotion and food and this report seeks to privatise certain secondary health problems and conditions such as head lice will only be treated by people who can afford to do so and the most disadvantaged will be left to suffer and this is totally unacceptable.
Although it has further been emphasised that GPs will still have the option to give prescriptions if circumstances call for it but Dr Fiona Lemmens NHS Liverpool CCG chair, said that they have to make sure limited resources are used effectively and that they really want local people to tell them what they think of their proposed reforms first.
And if there are any other circumstances than the ones they’ve already outlined, where restricting prescriptions for those items might harm or disadvantage people, they want to learn about it and that they’ll be going out into various communities over the coming weeks to help make sure they gather viewpoints from people right across the city.
But councillor Angela Coleman said she felt the departure of the medicines was one of a number of incremental cuts to the health service in the city that could have permanent damage because it will directly affect the health choices of the very poorest in our society if they have to pay for prescriptions that were previously free on prescription and also because good health care is a fundamental requirement, regardless of ability to pay.
Perhaps if they made sure they collected money from those who arrive without insurance it would be better, after all, if we go to another country we have to have insurance and it should annoy people to know that if you have to take Declafenic NSAID it costs around £8 for 28 tablets on prescription, yet you can purchase it over the counter at any pharmacy in Spain, 40 tablets for €1.60, so someone on this side of the fence is making an outright profit.
The point is it should be about safety and not about the money because some of these medications have extremely hazardous side effects, and all medications should be on prescription only.
Okay, you can now only go into a shop and buy two packets of paracetamol which is a pain in the backside for some people and this was apparently done for safety precautions, but honestly, if someone actually wanted to take their own life they would go round every shop that sold paracetamol getting two packets at a time until they acquired enough to do the job properly, so actually it’s not about safety it’s about the government not wanting to fork out money for it.
And if you can get these prescriptions in the pound shop, such as cough mixture, head lice lotions et cetera why are prescriptions about £9 on the NHS, the NHS must be getting robbed blind by the medical companies or supposedly their representatives are on the fiddle and it won’t be long before there’s 0 per cent medical credit for major medications.
Maybe the government should focus on retrieving the money from prudent health tourists who it estimated costs the NHS between £20 million and £100 million a year. We have limited resources and if we quit treating the rest of the world we might have more for ourselves.
They chat about saving money by stopping specific prescriptions, but they’re happy to hand out patches and remedies to stop people from smoking, why not just prevent people from smoking by taking tobacco off the racks so that people can’t smoke anymore, but they wouldn’t do that because it brings them in too much revenue.