York & North Yorkshire

Harrogate NHS could stop prescriptions for for over-counter drugs

Paracetamol tablets
Image caption Last year, Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group spent £260,000 on paracetamol prescriptions

An NHS group in Harrogate says it could stop prescriptions for over-the-counter medicines to help it deal with an £8.4m budget deficit.

Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it was facing a "growing demand" on services.

The CCG said doctors last year prescribed more than three million items at a cost of £25m.

Prescriptions for the painkiller paracetamol accounted for £260,000.

The CCG said it was consulting local people to "to help identify where demand can be reduced and costs curtailed".

'Difficult choices'

The group said that it had seen a 2.7% rise in the number of Accident and Emergency admissions between April and June this year, compared with the same period last year, at an additional cost of £125,000.

Rick Sweeney, governing body member at the CCG, said the group was reviewing all parts of the service, including outpatient appointments and surgery.

"The challenge for the CCG is to spend the financial allocation differently, " he said.

"As an organisation we have a number of difficult choices to make about what is affordable for the whole of our local population against an ever increasing demand for access to health services."

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