Choosing Wisely – improving the way we prescribe
We are writing to ask your views on three new proposals to change the way we prescribe medicines across the eight boroughs of North West London (NW London), including your constituency.
These proposals will be going to CCG Governing Body for a decision in July 2017 and are entering a three week period of engagement before that date. Your valuable feedback will feed in to our final proposals for discussion at this Governing Body meeting.
Demand for healthcare is constantly rising as the population gets older, chronic and complex health conditions become more common and expensive new treatments become available.
Unfortunately our budgets are not increasing at the same rate and we are facing a financial gap.
NHS North West London Collaboration of CCGs needs to save nearly £135 million, around 5% of our annual expenditure, in the financial year 2017/18 in order to balance our budgets. Working together as a sector, NW London is looking at opportunities to reduce expenditure that will not impact on residents’ health and essential NHS services. We are exploring a number of areas where we could make sensible changes to address this significant financial challenge. These difficult decisions about where we could save money need to be made locally, in a planned way with the input of patients and residents.
If we don’t make the decisions proposed here, we could be forced into making unplanned cuts which affect essential NHS services.
This piece of work covers all the boroughs of NW London to ensure consistency across the eight boroughs.
The first area we are focusing on is changes to the way we prescribe. In the coming months, we will be looking at some clinical procedures and will come back to ask your views on those.
These proposals are similar to initiatives taking place in other parts of Greater London such as Richmond, Croydon, Greenwich, and Luton, and cover the following proposals:
- GPs will ask patients if they are willing to buy certain medicines or products listed below that can be bought without a prescription
- GPs will not routinely prescribe certain medicines and products listed below which can be bought without a prescription
- To reduce waste we will ask patients to order their own repeat prescriptions
It is important to view these proposals in the context of the transformation we are making to our health system across NW London. As we move from a reactive model of care that waits for people to get ill to a proactive one focussed on keeping people well, the importance of self-care and encouraging people to take a greater responsibility for their health and wellbeing is essential.
These proposals aim to:
- Encourage self-care with community pharmacy support
- Free up prescribers’ time for clinical care
- Avoid unnecessary appointments for patients
- Reduce unnecessary spend on prescriptions
- Minimise unwarranted prescribing
Please see information letter below and also Choosing wisely booklet.
Please respond by 30th June 2017.