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Prescribing for Self Care

The NHS spends over approximately £500 million per year on prescriptions for medicines, which could otherwise be purchased over the counter (OTC) from a pharmacy and/or other outlets.

Warrington CCG recommends that the following are suitable for patients to buy for themselves, rather than being prescribed by their GP practice or other prescriber.

By reducing spend on treating conditions, which lend themselves to self-care, or on items for which there is little evidence of clinical effectiveness, these resources can be used for other higher priority areas that have a greater impact for patients, support improvements in services and/or deliver transformation that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS.

Many of these products are readily available, along with advice, from local pharmacies.

To view the full list, please refer to our pdf further guidance on self-care prescribing Some are also available from local shops and supermarkets.

  • Pain killers for minor aches and pains
  • Pain relief cream/ointment 
  • Vitamins, tonics and health supplements
  • Ear wax removers
  • Lozenges, throat sprays, mouthwashes, gargles and toothpastes
  • Indigestion remedies 
  • Moisturisers and bath additives/shower products for dry skin
  • Creams for bruising, tattoos, and scars
  • Hair removal creams
  • Treatments for contact dermatitis
  • Treatments for minor burns and scalds
  • Treatments for bites and stings         
  • Teething gels and mouth ulcer products
  • Baby milks (unless a clinical need for a specialist milk)
  • Oral antihistamines for hay fever      
  • Decongestant nasal sprays and tablets          
  • Antifungal treatments (for example for athletes foot)
  • Treatments for cold sores      
  • Antibacterial eye drops
  • Treatment for diarrhoea        
  • Head lice treatments 
  • Creams/ointments for nappy rash                   
  • Treatments for vaginal and oral thrush
  • Haemorrhoids treatment
  • Cough preparations   
  • Eye care products (for example blepharitis wipes)
  • Probiotics       
  • Treatments for mild acne      
  • Treatments for mild cystitis
  • Treatments for constipation
  • Treatments for migraine

Please note: Some medicines are only available over the counter in certain circumstances. For example, if a patient has thrush, and it is their first episode or they are under 16 or over 60 years old, they will not be able to access this medication over the counter, and some medicines are not suitable for very young children. In these cases, the medicines will continue to be prescribed.

Self Care provides people with the ability to take greater control of their health and wellbeing. It also helps the CCG ensure they only offer treatments through the local NHS that are clinically effective and that provide a clear health benefit to patients. 

More information about Self Care

Resources for use by patients 

Find out more about Self Care developments in Warrington

Useful links to local and national resources for patients and health care professionals

Self Care Information and advice for people in Warrington leaflet

Resources for use by Healthcare Professionals 

Digital Resources

​Community Pharmacy and Self Care Poster 

Seven Steps to Self Care Poster

Medicines Cupboard and Self Care Poster 

Urgent Treatment Centres and Self Care Poster

Self Care Pass along card

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