People in Tower Hamlets are being asked for their views on new proposals to reduce prescribing of low priority items such as silk garments and bath oils.

The proposals cover eight low priority products that cost the NHS more than £68 million a year and will build on work to identify areas of current NHS spend that could be better utilised for higher priority areas. 

NHS England has already ordered an end to the routine prescribing of 18 low value items such as homeopathy and products that are available over the counter, often at lower cost, such as paracetamol and cough mixture, to treat minor conditions.

The latest consultation  is asking for views on the following products that are deemed to be items of relatively low clinical effectiveness, items which are clinically effective but where more cost-effective items are available or items which are clinically effective but, due to the nature of the item, are deemed a low priority for NHS funding. 

Silk garments
Aliskiren – used to treat blood pressure
Amiodarone – used to treat abnormal heart rhythms
Bath and shower emollient preparations
Dronedarone – used to treat the heart condition atrial fibrillation
Minocycline – used to treat acne
Blood glucose testing strips for type 2 diabetes
Needles for Pre-Filled and Reusable Insulin Pens for diabetes. 

There is also a proposed updated commissioning guidance for Rubefacients (excluding topical NSAIDs) in the consultation.

The proposed recommendations on glucose testing strips and needles are focused on substitution for more cost-efficient, but equally effective products, not a reduction in prescribing of these items. 

The national consultation runs until 28 February 2019 and is being carried out by NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioners in order to create a consistent, national approach to items that can currently be prescribed by a GP. 

Clinical commissioning groups – which are responsible for buying healthcare services for local people – are to receive guidance after the results of the consultation are known.

Local people are encouraged to respond to the national consultation survey and have their say.

Those who respond to the consultation, which can completed here, can ask for their response to be emailed to them at the end of the survey. Tower Hamlets CCG are asking that people forward this PDF response to so that we know what local people think about these proposals. This will enable us to make an informed local decision if the recommendation is for GPs to stop prescribing these items.

Events and webinars (online meetings) are being held to provide further information and to seek people’s views on the proposals. Please follow the links below to book a place. 

Face-to-face events

Tues 5 Feb (2.30 – 4.30pm – London) 

Webinars (online meetings)

Thurs 14 Feb (1 – 2pm) 

Click here for full details of the consultation.