Self-Care Guidance 2020

Self-Care Guidance 2020

The West Lancashire Medicines Management Team are continuing to encourage patients to self-care where possible and avoid unnecessary trips to their GP.

We are helping residents to understand what they can do themselves and how they can play a more active role in their health and help to manage their own conditions. Many GP appointments are unknowingly made unnecessarily with minor ailments that can easily be treated with a visit to a local pharmacy and keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

By patients, pharmacies and GP practices working together in this way, this will free up GPs to attend to and see patients with more complicated medical needs sooner. In previous years, the CCG and NHS in West Lancashire alone has spent £390,000 prescribing medicines and treatments that fall under self-care. Savings made by removing these items from prescription can be reimbursed back into the local community in West Lancashire and help to support other NHS services.

Self-care items are those that are easily available from supermarkets and shops. These medicines, treatments and conditions include:

  • Treatments for minor ailments and conditions, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.
  • Treatments where there is little evidence that they have a real clinical benefit, such as cough syrups.
  • Products that do not require clinical treatment, such as bath and shower products

This change in prescribing will not apply to everyone and certain patients will be exempt. This includes:

  • Patients with a chronic pain management need
  • Babies, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers
  • Care home residents – Please refer to your care homes ‘homely remedies’ policy
  • Patients being cared for at the end of their life.

You can learn more about self-care by referring to the below documents which gives examples of products for conditions or over the counter items that could be restricted and ‘Red Flag’ referral symptoms.

‘Red Flag’ referral symptoms

Example products for conditions or over the counter (OTC) items that could be restricted

If anyone has been affected by this change or wants to share their views they can contact the CCG on 01695 588 000 or by emailing