The Leeds Health and Care Partnership’s priority is to deliver the best front-line care we can for the people of Leeds while also ensuring that we make the best use of the funds we have available. Doctors in Leeds always try to prescribe the most effective medicines to treat their patients, but they are also aware of the cost of medicines and have a responsibility to make the best use of NHS resources. Because of the unprecedented demand the NHS finds itself under GPs are having to make changes to some prescriptions where this can save the NHS money without changing the quality or effectiveness of the treatments prescribed. These changes will help fund the prescribing of vital medicines to improve people’s health, in conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, or be invested into new services for patients.
We hope that you will support these changes and help the NHS provide the best medicines to the people who need them.
Some examples of changes that may affect you:
- The brand or form of your medication may change to a version that is less expensive for the NHS. Patients are sometimes prescribed ‘branded’ medication where a cheaper ‘generic ‘or alternative brand is available. Sometimes changing the form of the medication e.g. a tablet to a capsule, may be more cost-effective. Examples you may see in coming weeks:
- Some people taking food supplement drinks may be changed to a different brand. The new brand is called ‘Aymes’ and has similar ingredients to other more expensive brands.
- Aveeno products prescribed for eczema will be changed to cheaper alternatives with similar ingredients that work in the same way.
- Some medications or treatments whose effectiveness is not proven may be stopped or changed to an alternative. NHS England has published guidance for doctors on these medications which you can read here: items-which-should-not-routinely-be-prescribed-in-primary-care-v2.1.pdf (england.nhs.uk).
Examples you may see in coming weeks:
- People with eczema prescribed special soap-free products for washing (known as bath or shower emollients) may have their prescriptions stopped and be advised to use their prescribed moisturising cream or ointment as a soap substitute instead. This follows research that has shown these products do not improve conditions such as eczema: Please watch this YouTube video which explains more: (32) BATHE – YouTube. This leaflet is available explaining how best to use a cream or ointment as a soap substitute.
- Silk Garments also have little evidence for effectiveness in eczema and will be stopped. Please watch this YouTube video which explains more: CLOTHES Trial – The University of Nottingham
- Muscle rubs for aches and pains, such as ‘Movelat’, have little evidence of effectiveness and may be stopped.
- Herbal and homeopathic medicines will not be prescribed.
- Where a medication is recommended for a condition suitable for self-care, people may be advised to purchase the medication from a pharmacy or other outlet rather than receive a prescription. Examples you may see being removed from prescriptions in coming weeks include:
- Treatments for hay fever
- Low dose vitamin D supplements
- Drops and ointments for minor dry eye conditions.