Local NHS launches campaign to cut medicines waste

People in Bradford district and Craven are being asked to take control of their medicines as part of a drive to drastically reduce medicines waste. 

Cutting medicines waste is a key part of the It’s Your NHS, Don’t Waste It campaign which was launched by NHS Bradford City, NHS Bradford Districts and NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in October.

The campaign raises awareness about medicines waste and asks – ‘Don’t use it? Don’t order it’. The aim is for people to stop ordering medicines on prescription if they are not used and tell their GP practice instead. People should also speak to their practice if they do not take their medicines as advised. GP practices can change prescriptions to make sure that people are getting the most effective care. 

Standalone image - dont use it, dont order it

People are also being encouraged to buy medicines for short-term minor ailments themselves. The NHS can pay up to 10 times more for minor ailments medicines on prescription. But, buying medicines for short-term minor ailments is often cheaper, easier and quicker than waiting to see a GP. Pharmacies are one of the best places people can go to buy medicines; they are based in convenient locations, are experts in medicines and minor ailments, and there is no need to book an appointment.

Dr Andy Withers, clinical chair, NHS Bradford Districts CCG, on behalf of the three CCGs, said: “We hope this campaign will encourage people to take more control of their medicines and raise awareness of medicines waste. Only ordering the medicines they need and buying medicines for short-term minor ailments will help people to understand more about their care and treatment. Nationally our NHS spends £300 million each year on medicines that are wasted. By reducing the amount spent in our area, we can invest in making sure local services are sustainable, high quality and fit for the future.”

One of the easiest ways for people to take control of their medicines is to order them online or by using an app. The service, known as SystmOnline, allows people to view all their regular medicines and only order what is needed. It’s easy, convenient and available 24/7 so there is no need to travel to a GP practice. People can also request to be set up for patient online access on behalf of somebody they care for. To register, they should take some photo ID and proof of address to their GP practice and ask to be set up for patient online services.

It’s Your NHS, Don’t Waste It is part of the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme which is all about providing real value for money while making every patient journey in the NHS count. To read more click here.