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Changes to 'low priority' and gluten free prescribing

The CCGs in Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston (central Lancashire) are making some changes in relation to an area called ‘low priority prescribing’ in line with many other NHS organisations in Lancashire and nationally.

Members of the public were asked to share their views on these changes.  Around 1,400 people responded to a survey about the changes, and the majority were in favour of stopping prescribing these products.

What this means is that from 5 December 2016 the funding of certain types of medicines or treatments that are readily available ‘over the counter’ in pharmacies or on the shelves in shops and supermarkets will stop.

The types of medicines and treatments that fall into this category include:

  • Treatments for minor ailments, including medicines like paracetamol, ibuprofen, head lice lotion and indigestion tablets.
  • Treatments where there is little evidence that they have a real clinical benefit, including cough syrups, nasal congestion sprays, sore throat products and vitamin supplements.

In some cases there will still be exceptions to this, such as the prescribing of these treatments for people with long term conditions, for babies and children, for breastfeeding mothers or when caring for people at the end of their life.

You can read the new prescribing for clinical need policy here (pdf 367KB). Some question and answers (PDF file 152KB) about this new policy are also available. 

In addition, gluten free food will no longer be available on prescription. 

You can read the new prescribing of gluten free food policy here (pdf 148KB). Some question and answers (PDF file 247KB)  about this new policy are also available. 

A feedback report from the engagement exercise is available to view here: Low priority prescribing report (PDF file 566KB). This information has now been summarised as two infographics:

Changes to gluten free prescribing survey results Changes to low priority prescribing survey results

PDF versions of this infographic are available to download:

Low priority prescribing infographic report (PDF file, 910KB) 

Gluten free survey results - infographic (PDF file, 875KB) 

If you would like to get in touch with us about this prescribing change, or anything else in relation to your local health service, please email or



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