Our aim is to both help you and to help you help yourself. This goes for all members of our primary health care team. We would like you to note the following points.
Evidence Based Health Care
The doctors like to treat you in ways that are up to date and which have been proved to be effective. A great amount of research is done to see whether some forms of treatment actually do any good. For example, it has been shown that antibiotics don’t work on sore throats and you are better off with paracetamol! Similarly, the majority of childhood coughs and colds and even some ear infections may not need antibiotics – patients are usually glad to be examined and reassured of this knowing that antibiotics are best kept in reserve for when they are really needed.
In most cases the doctors prescribe medicines by their chemical name which may be different from the name you are familiar with. This is known as generic prescribing. The active ingredient is, of course, exactly the same but the cost of generic medicines is often much less than if they were prescribed by their “brand” name. Generic prescribing saves the NHS millions of pounds and doesn’t affect anyone’s individual treatment at all. The generic medicine may be different shape or colour so it is best to know your medicine by its generic name and strength. The people who benefit from saving money in this way are the patients themselves – money is not unlimited.
Prescriptions for Minor Ailments
We do not usually issue prescriptions for paracetamol liquid for children or for head lice lotions; patients’ are expected to buy their own. Nor do we routinely prescribe cough mixtures. This allows us to conserve the money we are allocated to spend on those medicines used in more serious illnesses.