The NHS has published a list of 35 conditions for which doctors no longer issue a prescription

A number of medical conditions will no longer be dealt with by prescriptions, the NHS has confirmed. To save money it spends on treating minor ailments, the NHS has published a list of 35 conditions for which doctors no longer issue a prescription.

For minor ailments, patients are being asked to go to their pharmacy or supermarket to find suitable over-the-counter treatments instead. Despite the new guidance, many people are unaware and still book an appointment to see their GP just to get these standard items.

The NHS explained: “By reducing the amount the NHS spends on treating these minor health conditions, the NHS can give priority to treatments for patients with more serious conditions such as cancer and mental health problems.”

Here are the 35 conditions NHS doctors won’t prescribe medication for.

  • Acute sore throat
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Coughs, colds and nasal congestion
  • Cradle cap
  • Dandruff
  • Diarrhoea (adults)
  • Dry eyes/sore tired eyes
  • Earwax
  • Excessive sweating
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Head lice
  • Indigestion and heartburn
  • Infant colic
  • Infrequent cold sores of the lip
  • Infrequent constipation
  • Infrequent migraine
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Mild acne
  • Minor burns and scalds
  • Mild cystitis
  • Mild dry skin
  • Mild irritant dermatitis
  • Mild to moderate hay fever
  • 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 tooth decay
  • Ringworm/athlete’s foot
  • Sunburn
  • Sun protection
  • Teething/mild toothache
  • Threadworms
  • Travel sickness
  • Warts and verrucae

There are exceptions – some patients may still be prescribed a medicine for a condition on the list for a variety of reasons, such as having a long-term condition (such as chronic arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease), in cases where over the counter medicine doesn’t prove effective, treating side effects of a prescription or the prescriber believing that a patient is unable to treat themselves.
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In addition, it was announced that probiotics and some vitamins and minerals will no longer be routinely prescribed because most people can get these from eating a healthy diet or can buy their vitamin pills at a supermarket or health food shop.

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