Help us to spend NHS money wisely

20 September 2017

Barking and Dagenham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has today launched Spending NHS Money Wisely 2 – an eight week consultation where they will ask the public for their views on proposals to stop funding certain non-essential procedures (such as ear wax removal and osteopathy); restrict who is eligible to have cataract surgery and podiatry; and no longer prescribe some ‘over the counter’ medicines (including sunscreens and probiotic supplements). 

Earlier this year GPs in Barking and Dagenham asked patients and residents to get involved with helping them decide how to spend local NHS money wisely. 

Feedback was received from people across the borough and as a result the CCG made some decisions about treatments, procedures and medicines the local NHS will no longer fund. This first set of changes – to NHS prescribing, gluten-free products, cosmetic procedures and IVF – should amount to around £3 million of savings this year. 

These savings are essential in helping us to tackle the £55 million financial deficit we face, however we need to do more. 

As a result the CCG, which is responsible for planning, buying and monitoring NHS health services for local people is running Spending NHS Money Wisely 2. 

Dr Anju Gupta, clinical director of Barking and Dagenham CCG, said: “On behalf of my GP colleagues, I want to thank everyone who took the time to tell us what they thought of our proposals during the first round of Spending NHS Money Wisely. 

“Your feedback was invaluable in helping us to make some very challenging decisions about how we spend taxpayers’ money locally – your money. 

“As family doctors we have a duty to spend NHS money wisely so that we can ensure you and your families receive the high quality care and treatment you rightly expect. This includes protecting our most vital health services – things like cancer care, emergency care and mental health services – for the coming years. To do this we must now find additional savings that will enable our local NHS to enter next year in a more secure and sustainable financial position.” 

CCGs in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge are working together to look at: 

No longer funding

  • Ear wax removal
  • Some injections for lower back pain - disc, facet joint and epidural
  • Osteopathy

Restricting who is eligible for:

  • Cataract surgery
  • Podiatry 

No longer prescribing some over the counter medicines, including:

  • Anti-malarial medicine
  • Probiotic supplements
  • Sunscreens.

Dr Ravali Goriparthi, clinical director of Barking and Dagenham CCG, added: “The savings we’ve implemented through Spending NHS Money Wisely 1 will be essential in helping us to find the £55 million of savings the NHS needs to make locally. However, we must act now to further reduce spending so that we can protect our vital health services, both for ourselves and future generations.

“As a result we now have the even more difficult job of looking for these additional savings, and once again we are asking you, our patients, for your help. We haven’t made any decisions yet and we won’t until we have heard from you. So please do visit the CCG’s website for information on our proposals or come to one of our drop-in sessions, and complete our questionnaire to tell us how you think we should spend NHS money.” 

The CCG has published a document that sets out the proposed changes, and a questionnaire for people to have their say. 

The questionnaire is available at and all responses must be received by 5pm, 15 November 2017.