List of medical conditions for which you can no longer receive NHS prescriptions

NHS England has published an updated list of medical conditions for which you can no longer receive prescriptions for, as part of a wider cost-cutting exercise due to insufficient funding from central government.

The new list is as follows:

  • Acute Sore Throat
  • Cold Sores
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Coughs and colds and nasal congestion
  • Cradle Cap (Seborrhoeic dermatitis – infants)
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Infant Colic
  • Mild Cystitis
  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Dandruff
  • Diarrhoea (Adults)
  • Dry Eyes/Sore tired Eyes
  • Earwax
  • Excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis)
  • Head lice
  • Indigestion and Heartburn
  • Infrequent constipation
  • Infrequent Migraine
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Mild Acne
  • Mild Dry Skin/Sunburn
  • Mild to Moderate Hay fever/Allergic Rhinitis
  • Minor burns and scalds
  • Minor conditions associated with pain, discomfort and/fever. (e.g. aches and sprains, headache, period pain, back pain)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nappy Rash
  • Oral Thrush
  • Prevention of dental caries
  • Ringworm/Athletes foot
  • Teething/Mild toothache
  • Threadworms
  • Travel Sickness
  • Warts and Verrucae
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamins and minerals.
Photo Credit: Public Domain (cc).

Exceptions

  • Circumstances where the product licence doesn’t allow the product to be sold over the counter to certain groups of patients. This may vary by medicine, but could include babies, children and/or women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Community pharmacists will be aware of what these are and can advise accordingly.
  • Patients with a minor condition suitable for self-care that has not responded sufficiently to treatment with an OTC (over the counter) product.
  • Patients where the clinician considers that the presenting symptom is due to a condition that would not be considered a minor ailment.
  • Circumstances where the prescriber believes that in their clinical judgement exceptional circumstances exist that warrant deviation from the recommendation to self-care.
  • Patients where the clinician considers that their ability to self-manage is compromised as a consequence of social, medical or mental health vulnerability to the extent that their health and/or wellbeing could be adversely affected if left to self-care.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, said: “To do the best for our patients and for taxpayers it’s vital the NHS uses its funding well.”


Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Where patients can afford to buy medication over the counter, we would certainly encourage them to do so.

“There are also many minor, self-limiting conditions for which patients don’t often need to seek medical assistance, or prescribed medication, and can dealt with through self-care.”

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