During the hay fever season, people who suffer from the allergy are being encouraged to visit their local pharmacy – rather than their GP – for help and advice.
You don’t need a prescription for hay fever tablets, eye drops or nasal sprays as these items can all be easily purchased from your local pharmacy or supermarket.
NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) spend around £1.3 million on medicines that are readily available over-the-counter at low cost. By choosing inexpensive in-store brands, patients can buy their medicine for less than half the price the NHS pays when providing them on prescription.
Dr David Kelly, Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG and local GP said: “Pharmacies are a good place to start for advice and treatment for minor health conditions. One of the best ways to control hay fever is with antihistamines, which you can buy without prescription from the pharmacy.”
“Some people think they need to see their GP for a prescription for hay fever medicines, but that’s not the case. By going to the pharmacy you’ll be saving yourself time, freeing up GP appointments for people with more urgent needs as well as doing your bit to help the NHS save money on unnecessary prescription costs.”
Dr Steve Ollerton, Chair, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and local GP added: “Make your pharmacy the first place you go for help and advice with hay fever. Many pharmacies are open long hours including evenings and weekends and you don’t need an appointment to speak to the pharmacist.”
Advice on treating hay fever and information about your nearest pharmacy and opening times is available on the NHS website www.nhs.uk