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News and updates

GP and patient communications 'toolkit' for changes to CCG funded service and treatments

07 July 2017

As you know, last week the CCGs’ three governing bodies approved a set of recommendations, developed by your GP clinical leads, related to the recent ‘Spending NHS Money Wisely’ public consultation.

Given the choice, none of us would have chosen to undertake this work; it has involved some difficult and much deliberated decisions, but we have to protect funding our most essential health services. We have also been encouraged by the levels of support locally among the public for many of the changes we are announcing.

In short, this means changes to a range of services locally which will now no longer be funded by the NHS or will be subject to further restrictions, therefore impacting on patients. The changes come into effect on Monday 10 July. They include:

  • No longer prescribing some ‘over the counter’ medicines and products (including multi vitamins, gluten-free food, muscle rubs etc.) on the NHS
  • Stopping NHS funding for procedures that are purely cosmetic – except for cancer and trauma patients
  • Reducing the number of IVF embryo transfers that the NHS will fund locally from three to one
  • Introducing new criteria for weight-loss surgery on the NHS.

We have worked with the CCGs’ communications team to develop a range of materials – on the links below - that will help you understand the agreed changes and communicate these to your patients. This ‘toolkit’ includes:

  1. A long list of the changes being made from 10 July as a handy guide for GPs/PMs - click here to download
  2. A general info GP surgery A4 ‘poster’ explaining ‘Spending NHS Money Wisely’ and why changes are being made - click here to download
  3. A GP surgery A4 ‘poster’ listing the prescribing changes - click here to download
  4. Web copy for your GP practice website to explain changes to your patients - click here to download
  5. A patient letter explaining the reasons for the changes to be used as required by GPs/PMs if you are asked about the changes by patients - click here to download
  6. A proactive patient letter for practices to send to patients on your list who are affected by prescribing changes, to be used, if you wish, as required - click here to download.

The CCGs’ medicines management team is also working hard to support the necessary changes to ScriptSwitch, adding relevant messages to assist your prescribing as appropriate. The first batch of these – around 500 - will be deployed on Tuesday and they should all be on the system within two weeks.

A full breakdown of the proposals and what was approved is available on our CCG website

As you know, in order to protect funding our most essential health services – things like cancer care, emergency care, life threatening conditions and mental health services, the CCGs have to make savings of £55million and had to look at reducing spending now.

We anticipate the savings associated with the changes outlined above will deliver around £3million of that total. The vast majority of the remainder will come from contractual changes with our main acute and community providers.

Unfortunately, no change is not an option, and it’s now up to us – with the public’s help – to get the local NHS onto a secure and sustainable footing to make sure we can maintain those vital services for local people and their families.

Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge CCG Governing Bodies


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