The thin end of the wedge?

On 19th June the “NHS NW London” (ie the 8 CCGs responsible for the NW London STP) asked us to publicise to our members an “engagement” exercise they are running until the end of next week 30 June. It is about NOT prescribing certain common medicines.

We have protested that this is a ridiculously short time and that the message should have come first via Brent CCG and the GP practices in Brent using their PPG lists. Our protest had some effect because the CCG did contact people via “Engagement” a day later.

The link to the exercise if you are prepared to do it online is

There is also a leaflet but we don’t know if it has yet reached GP practices.

It is suggested that GPs and hospitals are prescribing some £24million’s worth of medicines which are not clinically necessary and which you can buy at a pharmacist anyway. We find this hard to swallow. We are concerned that people on low incomes with long term conditions may need large quantities of some of the creams and similar listed. At the same time they are the least likely to respond to a hasty online “consultation”.

Thus if you respond please consider not just your own needs and what you can afford but those of others who may be disadvantaged by what is proposed. Consider too that any proposals to increase what we pay for rather than receive free at the point of delivery  may erode the basic principle of our national health service (especially if only applied in areas where there are ‘deficits’).

We have been in touch with the representative of Brent pharmacists on Brent CCG. He has told us that they have not endorsed the list of medicines which may no longer be prescribed and, like BPV, are concerned about the potential effects on less well off patients.

Robin Sharp
Chair Brent Patient Voice

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