It is our practice policy to prescribe in line with regional Health and Social Care Board guidance and the Northern Ireland Formulary.
Prescribing of Medicines for Minor Conditions and Self-Limiting Illnesses
Guidance from the Northern Ireland Department of Health (DoH (NI)) and the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) advises GPs not to prescribe medicines that can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) by patients when they are being used to treat minor conditions or self-limiting illnesses.
Patients are encouraged to self care and seek advice from their local community pharmacist to help manage minor conditions and self-limiting illnesses.
In line with guidance from the NI Department of Health, this GP practice does not prescribe medicines:
- that can be purchased over-the-counter by patients when they are being used to treat minor conditions or self-limiting illnesses,
- or where there is no evidence base for their use.
A list of conditions and examples of medicines that are readily available and should be bought OTC has been drawn up by DoH (NI) and HSCB and are available here.
In line with our prescribing policy the practice does not routinely prescribe medicines for Hayfever.
Hayfever is a condition which lends itself to self-care, i.e. the person suffering does not normally need to seek medical advice and can manage the condition by purchasing OTC items directly. Therefore most people with mild to moderate symptoms are able to relieve symptoms with OTC treatments recommended by a pharmacist or purchased in local retail outlets.
In line with our prescribing policy the practice does not routinely prescribe painkillers for minor conditions or self-limiting illnesses.
When required for short-term minor illnesses, it is better for the Health Service if you buy painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen without a prescription.
Over-the-counter paracetamol and ibuprofen can be purchased at relatively low cost from community pharmacies or other retail outlets such as supermarkets and discount stores.