Over the Counter Medicines Survey
Thank you for your interest in the proposal for over the counter medicines guidance.

This questionnaire is for members of the public and also for health and care professionals. Before you answer this questionnaire, please read the information here for more detail about what is being proposed and why.

Your answers are anonymous. Your data will be treated confidentially and stored electronically in accordance with Data Protection law and NHS Liverpool CCG’s Privacy Notice.

This survey asks for your views on proposed guidelines for prescribing medicines/items for the treatment of some minor illnesses and conditions. They would apply to GP practices, chemists (community pharmacies) and walk-in centres.

Following national guidance, NHS Liverpool CCG is considering whether to advise GPs not to prescribe certain items or for some conditions (question 9) which:
  • would get better on their own without treatment
  • could be treated at home using medicines from a pharmacy or shop
  • would require medicines/treatments that aren’t backed up by strong clinical evidence to say that they’re effective.

GPs would still be able to prescribe for these conditions if they thought there was a good reason to do so (see question 10). However, in general, you would be advised to let the symptoms clear up on their own, use a home remedy or buy something over the counter.

Questions marked with a red asterisk (*) require an answer.

1. Are you responding to this survey as an individual or on behalf of an organisation? *


2. Which of the following best describes your organisation? *


3. Are you any of the following? *


4. Please enter your home or organisation's postcode: *


5. Do you currently pay for your prescriptions? *


6. If you don’t pay for prescriptions can you tell us which of the following applies to you: *


7. Do you regularly care for a child under 18? *


8. In general how do you feel about GPs being advised not to prescribe
  • for conditions that will get better on their own,
  • for conditions that could be treated at home with items bought over the counter,
  • medicines/treatments that aren’t proven to be effective?
(you can tell us more about specific issues below) *


9. Below is a list of the items/conditions we are considering asking GPs to stop giving prescriptions for, for both adults and children.

For each one, please say whether you agree/disagree/don’t know whether we should do this (please tick one column for EACH item): *

Agree – stop prescribingDisagree – keep prescribingDon’t know
Sore throat
Coughs and colds and nasal congestion
Cradle cap (dry skin on baby’s head)
Head lice
Colic (young baby crying a lot)
Infrequent constipation
Mild urine infection / Cystitis
Mild dry skin
Minor burns and scalds
Mouth ulcers
Prevention of tooth decay (dentist only to prescribe if needed)
Sun protection
Warts and verrucae
Vitamins and minerals
Probiotics (live bacteria/yeast for your gut)

10. Below is a list of reasons or situations that a GP would still be able to prescribe for these conditions/items – these are known as exemptions.

For each one, please say whether you agree/disagree/don’t know whether it should be an exemption: *

Agree – this should be an exemptionDisagree – this should NOT be an exemptionDon’t know
A. It is an over the counter treatment for something linked to a long term or complex health condition. For example, mouth ulcers caused by another illness which might need treatment from the GP to resolve them.
B. Where a condition hasn’t responded sufficiently to treatment with an over the counter product.
C. Where the GP thinks there are medical, mental health or social issues which mean their health and/or wellbeing could be affected if the item wasn’t prescribed. People with disabilities or dementia would also be considered here.

11. Are there any other reasons you think GPs should be able to prescribe these items (exceptions)? *


12. Do you think these changes will affect any group of people more than others? *


13. If yes, please tick those you think will be most affected (please tick up to 3): *


14. Do you think these changes will affect you? *


15. If yes, please say how it will affect you most (please tick only one option): *


16. At the moment different GPs might treat patients differently when it comes to prescribing over the counter medicines – some might prescribe them and others might not. How important is it to you that GPs across Liverpool respond to people in the same way? *


17. Care at the Chemist allows people who don’t pay for their prescription to get free medicines and advice for certain illnesses from their local pharmacy without having to see a doctor first. Changes to prescribing advice would affect this scheme as follows:
  • Treatments for infant colic, mild urine infection/cystitis and warts and verrucae would no longer be provided as they are not considered effective.
  • Head lice treatment would be a nit comb for two weeks, followed by lotion if the head lice didn’t go.
  • For infrequent constipation Care at the Chemist would offer two consultations.

Patients with more complex issues would be referred to their GP.

Please tell us your view of these changes to Care at the Chemist: *


18. Please provide any other information you would like us to consider:


19. Where did you hear about this survey?