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Silk pyjama prescriptions to be axed in NHS clampdown



Prescriptions for silk baby body suits and children’s pyjamas intended to help with eczema could soon be scrapped under NHS plans to save more than £1.2m a year.

An NHS consultation document proposes stopping prescriptions for silk garments as it says there is limited evidence to support their effectiveness for patients with eczema and dermatitis.

The move would include saving money spent on items such as infant leggings, gloves and tubular sleeves.

The garments form part of a consultation on a number of items officials are proposing to cut, with eight products deemed to either have low effectiveness, to have cheaper alternatives, or to have been considered a “low priority”.

They are:

The NHS England chief wants to make taxpayers' money 'go further'
NHS England chief Simon Stevens wants to make taxpayers’ money ‘go further’

The plans aim to save the health service a total of £68m a year and follow a previous consultation which looked at taking other items off the prescription list to save more than £200m per year.

Officials have also called for routine prescriptions of homeopathy and medicines available over the counter at a lower cost, such as paracetamol and cough mixture, to be taken off the prescription list as they are considered “low-value items”.

The clampdown comes as GPs have been given new guidance on gluten-free prescriptions.

The new rules state that while patients could still receive gluten-free bread and baking mixes, they are no longer eligible for food items such as cakes, biscuits and pizzas.

NHS England said it started funding gluten-free products in the late 1960s when there was a limited availability of food items in shops.

“The NHS is one of the most efficient health services in the world but, as part of the long-term plan for the NHS, we’re determined to make taxpayers’ money go further and drive savings back into frontline care,” said NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens.

“It is essential the NHS should not be paying for anything which has been proven to be ineffective or where there are safer or cheaper alternatives.”

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