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Your Medicines, Your NHS

Did you know every year in mid Essex an estimated £2 million of unused medicines are wasted?

In March 2019 the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group launched a new campaign around reducing the amount of local medicine waste.

This waste means that people living in mid Essex do not benefit from additional services or treatments that this money could have been better spent on. The £2 million wasted on medicines each year could pay for 566 new hips, 139 more breast cancer drug treatment courses for or 61 more community nurses.

When patients receive medicines that are not intended for them or that have been discontinued, there is also a safety risk in that the medicine may be inadvertently taken by somebody else or taken by the patient without realising it is no longer required. So reducing the wastage of medicines benefits patients from a safety perspective as well as a cost perspective.

That’s why they have launched a campaign called ‘Your Medicines, Your NHS’ to make the public aware of all the big costs involved in prescriptions.

In the first phase of the campaign patients are being encouraged to open their prescription bag in the pharmacy and see if they still need all items in the bag, and if not to hand surplus items back to pharmacy staff before leaving. (If you notice you have surplus after you have left the pharmacy it cannot be returned for use by anyone else, even if it hasn’t been opened.) Patients can reorder the surplus items next time if they still need them.

Paula Wilkinson, Chief Pharmacist for Mid Essex CCG, said: “We are encouraging everyone to reduce medicines wastage. Things can change between putting in your request for repeat medicines and when you collect them and although you are taking your medicines as prescribed stocks may build up. So play your part – ‘Open the Bag’ and hand back any medicines that you do not need.

“The public can get involved by making a pledge to support the campaign or by sending out social media messages with relevant hashtags.’

The official hashtag is #YourMedicinesYourNHS – if you would like to support this campaign please tweet @MidEssexCCG using the official hashtag




NB appropriate bookings with doctors include
Suspected illness
Follow up to previous appointment/lab results
Medication review.
Appropriate bookings with nurse:
Childhood/baby immunisations.
Pill check
Dressings, removal of sutures
Ear syringe
Suspected urinary infection
Travel immunisation
Chronic disease management
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If you need medical help outside surgery hours please ring 01376 561242 and you will be given the out of hours number for NHS 111 which is 111.  For real emergencies use Accident and Emergency.
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STOP SMOKING CAMPAIGN - Provide the community service provider are working with the practice and will be contacting patients in regard to stop smoking.  If you need any help with stopping smoking Castle Pharmacy in Coggeshall also have their own advisors.


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Please note that children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian when attending for a consultation. A signed consent form from a parent/guardian is required if a child is to be brought to the surgery by another person e.g. Grandparent, nanny. Immunisations will only be given when accompanied by a parent/guardian

Adolescents under the age of 16 may be seen without being accompanied by an adult provided the medical professional agrees the patient is ‘of sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable him or her to understand fully what is proposed’.

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