20 Sep 2019

St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group wants to hear the views of the public as it reviews the future of its ‘Care at the Chemist’ scheme.

The ‘Care at the Chemist’ scheme for minor ailments is available to the public in all but two patient-facing pharmacies in St Helens and patients eligible for free prescriptions can obtain treatment for 27 minor ailments free of charge. 

NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is holding a 12 week consultation running until Saturday 21 September and is asking the public should it:

  • Cease the service
  • Limit the number of pharmacies who offer the minor ailment service, for example only those pharmacies that are open 100 hours will be able to offer the service.
  • Limit the number minor ailments and treatments offered
  • Only offer the service to those aged 17 years and under.

Professor Sarah O’Brien, Strategic Director People's Services / Clinical Accountable Officer at NHS St Helens CCG, said: “It is right that we regularly review our services to ensure that we’re providing the most effective treatments and value for money for our population.

“The ‘Care at the Chemist’ scheme currently costs the CCG £200-250k each year and we want the public’s view on whether they think this is best use of limited NHS resources when over the counter medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can now be purchased very cheaply at supermarkets and other high street stores. 

“We also want to ensure that people understand the importance of self-care - looking after their own health and wellbeing, and know when to visit the pharmacist, GP or other health professional.” http://www.selfcareforum.org

People can read the supporting information and give their views between now and the 21st September in the following ways:

  • By completing the Online survey
  • By calling 01744 627596 to request a paper copy or completing the survey over the phone

The CCG will also be linking in with local community groups and running drop in sessions in the town centre and throughout the borough over the coming 12 weeks to ensure as many people as possible can have their say and give their opinions.

For more information on the consultation, please email: engagement@sthelensccg.nhs.uk