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GPs in Redbridge will stop prescribing sunscreens and limit cataract surgery

PUBLISHED: 12:37 15 December 2017

GPs will stop prescribing some 'non essential' mendications and treatments. Picture:  PA.

GPs will stop prescribing some 'non essential' mendications and treatments. Picture: PA.

PA/Press Association Images

GPs in Redbridge will stop prescribing over the counter sleeping tablets, sunscreens and anti-malarial medication as part of a £3.75million cost-cutting drive.

The medics have also agreed to limit the number of ‘non-essential’ procedures and introduce an eligibility criteria for cataract surgery and podiatry.

The new rules will come into force following a public consultation by Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group a(CCG) which is made up of the borough’s GPs.

Patients were asked for their views about 15 NHS treatments and whether they should be axed or restricted.

Dr Anita Bhatia, clinical lead and a GP in Redbridge, said: “On behalf of my GP colleagues, I want to thank everyone who took the time to tell us what they thought of our proposals during the consultation.

“We always knew we’d have the tough job of looking for further savings this year, but as family doctors we have a duty to spend NHS money wisely. I hope the public will understand that these savings are necessary to help us to protect the most essential services for them and their families, and to ensure that our local NHS enters next year in a more secure and sustainable financial position.”

Dr Sarah Heyes, fellow GP and clinical lead, added: “We spoke to hundreds of local people and community groups during the consultation,” says. “I want to reassure you, as we did them, of the rigour of our approach and the discussions we had as clinical leads to get to this point. It was a really challenging and important piece of work, and we took it very seriously indeed.

“We listened to people’s concerns and the expert advice of our panel around things like changing the eligibility criteria for cataract surgery, and amended some of our proposals based on their feedback.”

In July GPs in Redbridge agreed to stop funding boob jobs and reduce IVF treatment to one cycle instead of three.

Cosmetic procedures such as labiaplasty, face and brow lift surgeries and medication such as cough and cold remedies, head lice and scabies medicines, gluten-free products and medicines for dental conditions will also no longer be available on the NHS.

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