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Changes to some NHS prescriptions

At the end of May 2018, doctors will no longer be allowed to prescribe medicines which can be bought over-the-counter for short-term conditions and minor ailments.   

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) means medicines that can be bought directly without a prescription from a high street pharmacy, supermarket or other shops and online. Some examples include: paracetamol and ibuprofen; antihistamines; eye drops to treat allergies and indigestion treatments.
  • Short-term conditions tend to improve on their own without a long-term effect on a person’s health.
  • Minor ailments are uncomplicated conditions which can be diagnosed and managed without seeing the doctor. Some examples of these include: coughs, colds and sore throats; colic; threadworms; verrucas; warts; acne and indigestion.

We have been advised that the following conditions are affected by these changes: 

  • Acute sore throat
  • Infrequent cold sores
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Coughs and colds and nasal congestion
  • Cradle cap
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Infant colic
  • Mild cystitis
  • Mild dermatitis
  • Dandruff
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dry eyes/sore tired eyes
  • Earwax
  • Excessive sweating
  • Head lice
  • Indigestion and heartburn
  • Infrequent constipation
  • Infrequent migraine
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Mild acne
  • Mild dry skin
  • Sunburn
  • Sun protection
  • Mild to moderate hay fever
  • Minor burns and scalds
  • Minor conditions associated with pain, discomfort and/or fever
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nappy rash
  • Oral thrush
  • Ringworm/athletes foot
  • Teething/mild toothache
  • Threadworms
  • Travel sickness
  • Warts and verrucae  

(We expect that Swindon CCG will advise us of the full list of medicines affected within the next few weeks.)

Where can I get these medicines?

Many medicines can now be purchased from community pharmacies and / or supermarkets. These often have long opening times so you can get your medicines quickly and treat your condition early, rather than having to wait for a GP appointment. 

This also saves valuable GP time and your own time too – it is much quicker to pop into your local pharmacy than wait for a GP appointment. Community pharmacists are experts who are best placed to give advice on the right product for you to use.


Things to bear in mind…

  • If your problem is more serious and needs the attention of a GP, your pharmacist will recognise this and advise you to see your GP.
  • The NHS Choices website contains a lot of useful information on a range of minor ailments (such as constipation, short-term pain, strains and sprains), which you can manage yourself. Please visit
  • NHS England’s policy only applies to the use of medicines and products for short-term conditions. Your GP will continue to prescribe items you need for a long-term condition, provided that the treatment is effective. 

We do appreciate that change can be unsettling, but as our population continues to grow, prescribing medicines places more pressure on scarce NHS resources. Significant savings can also be made by not taking up a GP appointment for the supply of an over-the-counter medicine and should also increase the availability of appointments for patients with more serious conditions. 

We would like to ask for your understanding and cooperation whilst these changes are embedded and we respectfully remind patients that our staff are obliged to implement NHS England policy for the benefit of everybody who uses the NHS, both now and in the future.


2018 CQC inspection rates the surgery as 'Good'

We are very pleased to announce that we achieved an overall rating of ‘Good’ in our latest CQC inspection.

We would like to thank all of our patients for bearing with us whilst we made the necessary improvements to services and an especially big ‘thank you’ to those patients who have taken the time to leave so many positive and encouraging comments and reviews – we really do appreciate your input!

The partners and staff would also like to acknowledge the assistance received from the Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) over the past twelve months.

If you would like to read the report in full, you can download it here:

CQC report 20 March 2018


Missed appointments - year to date

As many patients will know, a shortage of GPs means that waiting times for a routine appointment are much longer than we would like.  We are working hard to recruit more permanent GPs but our locum colleagues are, in the meantime, doing their very best to help us provide the service our patients need and deserve.

It is therefore especially disappointing to report that, by the end of April, we had a staggering 549 missed appointments: 

Put another way, this would have provided an extra whole day of GP appointments, every week since 1 January.  

The cost of missed appointments to the NHS and to fellow patients is simply unsustainable, so we are issuing this plea: If you do not need your appointment, please let us know on 01793 522710, so that we can give the appointment to a patient who does.  Even if you can only give us an hour's notice, we promise we can fill the appointment!  Thank you.




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