Stop going to doctors for paracetemol, says Upwell GP

PUBLISHED: 11:15 19 March 2018

Dr Paul Williams, chairman of the West Norfolk CCG PHOTO: Paul Tibbs

Dr Paul Williams, chairman of the West Norfolk CCG PHOTO: Paul Tibbs

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An Upwell doctor is calling for people to help save NHS funds by losing weight and stopping smoking before surgery and for everyone to think carefully before using emergency services.

He is also calling for people to buy their own medication for minor ailments like hay fever, colds and indigestion instead of taking a GP appointment to get a prescription - which could save the local NHS about £2 million a year.

The plea is part of a call from West Norfolk CCG that says a packet of 32 paracetamol costs around 38p from a shop but costs tax payers about £1.88 to prescribe the same drug.

Dr Paul Williams, a GP based in Upwell, and chairman of the West Norfolk CCG, said. “Over the years I have seen lots of people not do as well following surgery as they expected.

“A lot of the time that is because of complications around the surgery due to their weight or smoking, I would encourage anyone to do their best to lose weight and stop smoking before undergoing elective surgery.”

He added that the public need to think carefully about their needs and options when they need help with minor ailments.

“Visiting a pharmacist and buying over the counter medications for minor ailments such as hay fever, colds and indigestion instead of taking a GP appointment to get a prescription for these type of problems could save the local NHS about£2 million as well as reducing the work load for busy GPs,” he said.

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Dr Williams, said. “We will shortly be starting the hay fever season where lots of us will experience sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes due to pollen levels in the air.

“The majority of people can control their symptoms by using simple drugs available over the counter such as anti-histamine tablets and steroid nasal sprays.

“This year we are again asking GPs not to prescribe for mild to moderate hay fever and direct patients to go to their local pharmacy for advice and over the counter drugs. Severe cases will still be treated by the GP.”

The CCG believes it can save up to £6 million by improving the lifestyles and health seeking behaviour of the local population.

• For more advice and support on how to quit smoking call 0800 0854 113 or visit www.smokefreenorfolk.nhs.uk.

• For details on living a healthier lifestyle go to: www.nhs.uk/change4life.

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