Call for GPs to issue ‘recommendation prescriptions’ for minor ailments

GPs should write “recommendation prescriptions” for patients who can self-care for minor ailments, according to a group of medicine manufacturers.

Such prescriptions would let GPs recommend over-the-counter medicines or give tips for self-care, said the Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB).

The trade body represents manufacturers of branded over-the-counter medicines, self-care medical devices and food supplements.

The move would help empower patients so they know how to manage similar conditions in the future without a trip to the GP, the PAGB said.

“Many people lack the knowledge on which medicines are available without a prescription and look to their GP for advice,” said PAGB chief executive John Smith.

“The NHS is asking GPs to stop prescribing treatments for these conditions, but this needs to be backed up with information and support to help people to self-care.”

The Royal College of GPs recommends that patients adhere to the “Three before GP” mantra before booking an appointment with their family doctor.

Patients are encouraged to ask themselves if they can self-care, seek advice from official online resources or get help from a pharmacist.

An NHS England spokesman, said: “GPs already provide general advice on minor illnesses and recommend medications that can be easily purchased over the counter without prescription, and anyone with a manageable condition like indigestion or a cold which does not normally require medical treatment, can visit their local pharmacist for help.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Julien Behal / PA Wire.