An NHS governing body will consult on the removal of 17 treatments from the list of what should routinely be prescribed by GPs. These treatments include head lice, the common cold and sunburn, and the move comes as health bosses say these conditions can get better on their own or be treated by shop-bought medicine. But the plan, which has been put forward by NHS Liverpool’s governing body, has caused uproar among councillors in Liverpool who say it represents weakness in the health service.
Councillors have said it will also leave the poorest people in Liverpool struggling to treat certain medical conditions.
Earlier this week, members of the council’s health and adult social care selection committee passed an emergency motion opposing NHS Liverpool’s move.
Committee member Paul Kenyon was reported to have been disgusted by the move and what the move could mean by the Liverpool Echo.
He said: “This city already has a high level of deprivation and these changes could leave people having to make a choice between head lice lotion and food.
“This report seeks to privatise certain minor health issues.
“Conditions such as head lice will only be treated by people who can afford to do so and the poorest will be left to suffer. It is completely unacceptable.”
I final decision has yet to be made, but health bosses have noted GPs would still have discretion to five prescriptions if circumstances call for it.
The 17 conditions that face being cut feature on a longer NHS England list published last year of conditions local health bosses could consider removing from GP prescription lists.
The prescriptions that face being cut include:
- Acute Sore Throat
- Coughs and colds and nasal congestion
- Cradle Cap (except where 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