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OPINION: Change needed to get value for patients

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 October 2017

Archant

As a local GP I know only too well the pressures that the NHS faces both here and across the country at the moment.

The care and treatment that I, along with my GP colleagues, provide every day for our patients is funded by taxpayers. That’s why we have a duty to make sure we get the best value we possibly can for every penny – especially when NHS funding is being severely squeezed.

Earlier this year we asked patients and residents to help us decide how to spend local NHS money wisely. As a result we made some decisions about treatments, procedures and medicines the local NHS will no longer fund. This first set of changes – to NHS prescribing, gluten-free products, cosmetic procedures and IVF – should save around £3 million this year.

These savings are essential in helping us to tackle the £55m deficit we face, however we need to do more.

We are considering:

• no longer paying for certain types of ear wax removal, some injections for lower back pain, and osteopathy

• restricting who is eligible for cataract surgery and podiatry

• no longer prescribing some ‘over the counter’ medicines and products.

Now once again we want to involve you, and are asking you to tell us what you think of our proposals.

No decisions have been made. To find out more and tell us what you think please visit barkingdagenhamccg.nhs.uk/spending-wisely and fill out our questionnaire. Responses must be received by 5pm on November 15.

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