BBC: NHS England to stop 'ineffective' treatments (4)

3 July, 2018

Dear Prof Ana,

In answer to your query 'One question worth asking is, would the same principle be applied to non surgical conditions/ interventions in the NHS?.' The NHS has started to implement plans 'to cut out prescriptions for ineffective, over-priced and low value treatments' (

This includes avoiding prescriptions for common self limiting conditions and minor complaints which can be safely managed by self-treatment or self-help measures. The UK has, in recent years, become over-dependent on medical and allied professionals to treat these conditions. Getting people to take more responsibility for their own health is complicated but an obvious prerequisite is that accessible, accurate, understandable health information is available. We are lucky in the UK, internet and mobile phone access to reliable sources of information are very widespread, and direct access to advice from a variety of health professionals is available to all, and free of charge.

HIFA profile: Malcolm Brewster is a Community Nurse with the National Health Service, UK. Professional interests: Chronic disease, community nursing, medical anthropology, health care in Africa. He is a member of the HIFA Working Group on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines:

Email address: malcolmbrewster AT