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Self Care Medicines.

The Medicine Optimisation Team of the Cambridgeshire CCG has instructed us to stop prescribing treatments that are available over the counter, inexpensive and used intermittently. This includes hay fever medication which we are therefore no longer routinely issuing and instead asking patients if they are able to purchase themselves. 

The main reason for this rationing is the very challenged financial position of the Cambridgeshire health economy which if not addressed will result in cuts to important services which will affect us all but we must also remember that there are advantages to buying these medications as it promotes self care, independence and reduced reliance on the surgery.

At The Spinney we understand that such changes are not popular but all of us must do what we can to protect our fragile health economy and we will prescribe for those patients unable or unwilling to support our local NHS in this way. 

Policy for Medication Supply

Travelling abroad for up to three months and intending to return

An NHS prescription for regular medication will be given to cover the three month period providing the GP is happy that any monitoring required is up to date and satisfactory.

The patient will remain registered with the practice.


Travelling abroad for more than three months or not intending to return

An NHS prescription for one month's supply of regular medication will be provided. This allows sufficient time for the journey to be undertaken and a suitable medical practitioner to be engaged in the overseas country.

The patient will be removed from the practice list.


Requests for other medication to take abroad

No medication other than that which a patient takes on a regular basis will be prescribed. This includes antibiotics, treatments for diarrhoea or any other 'just in case' treatment. If the patient is already abroad, no prescriptions can be issued. NHS prescriptions or medication cannot be sent abroad.

If the practice is aware that you are travelling abroad for longer than three months and does not take the appropriate action, as stated above, it could be considered to be acting in a fraudulent manner.


This protocol is based on current NHS regulations:
  • 'The NHS accepts responsibility for supplying ongoing medication for temporary periods abroad of up to 3 months'.
  • 'If a person is going to be abroad for more than three months then all that the patient is entitled to at NHS expense is a sufficient supply of his/her regular medication to get to the destination and find an alternative supply of that medication.'
  • 'where a person for whose treatment a doctor is responsible leaves the United Kingdom with the intention of being away for a period of at least three months, that person is removed from the doctor's list and as a consequence, ceases to be eligible for NHS treatment.'

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