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​NHS in Richmond seeks views on proposed changes to local healthcare

NHS Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is calling out for local people to have their say on the following proposals:

  • To reduce the prescribing of gluten free foods, Vitamin D for maintenance, baby milk and self-care medications
  • To reduce the number of IVF cycles offered from one to on an exception only basis
  • To help increase patient readiness or fitness for planned operations by supporting patients to stop smoking and/or reduce their weight

The CCG is required to make best use of our annual budget to keep people in the borough of Richmond well. There are significant pressures on this budget and we need to make £10.9 million savings this year. This is about 4.6% of our £254 million budget for 2016/17. We have to consider where we can reduce NHS spending with the least impact possible for local people.

By reducing prescribing of gluten-free foods, vitamin D, baby milk and self-care medications, savings up to £776,000 could be made each year as public confidence and knowledge around self-care improves. The products that the CCG is proposing to stop prescribing are now widely available at a reasonably low cost both online and in local shops. Therefore, one area we are asking for feedback on is to what extent the local NHS should prescribe items that can bought more cheaply and directly by the patient.

The CCG is also considering reducing the number of IVF cycles offered to on ​an exception basis only which could save up to £400,000 annually. This will enable the CCG to reduce its deficit, helping to secure the future of health services in the borough.

Dr Graham Lewis, local GP and CCG chair, said:

“Increasing demands on NHS services means that we cannot provide everything we want for people living in the borough of Richmond. We have to prioritise and make difficult decisions, which include a proposal to reduce the number of IVF cycles offered from one to an exception only basis, to secure the future of local health services for everyone.

“Our proposals to stop prescribing a number of products will not affect everybody. We want to work to make sure local people with the greatest need would not be affected by these changes.

“At this point these are proposals only and no final decisions have been made. We therefore encourage local people to have their say. We need to make sure that we understand the views and needs of people who use local services. Your feedback will inform any decisions on the availability of these services in the future.”
The engagement period will run until Friday 3 February 2017. The feedback from local people will be considered in our governing body meeting in public on 17 January 2017.

Click here to read the proposals and follow this link to have your say: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/choosingwiselyrichmond

Media enquiries

Amy Burns, Communications Officer for Richmond CCG on 020 8734 3000 or email amy.burns@richmond.gov.uk