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Latest News

New Prescribing Policy

What is changing?

Our practice, along with others throughout England, will be implementing a new policy on prescriptions for over-the-counter medicines when used to treat a range of minor health conditions.  The national guidance on this policy has come from NHS England and the full local policy can be found on the Birmingham and Solihull CCG website.

The GPs and nurses at Richmond Medical Centre will no longer routinely be prescribing medicines that can be bought over-the-counter (OTC) for certain, mostly short term, conditions.  We will also no longer be prescribing vitamin and mineral supplements for most patients.

We are asking patients to take a different approach to managing the following conditions:  

acute sore throat

minor burns and scalds


mild cystitis

coughs, colds and nasal congestion

mild dry skin

cradle cap

mild irritant dermatitis


mild to moderate hay fever

diarrhoea (adults)

dry eyes and sore tired eyes

mouth ulcers


nappy rash

excessive sweating

infant colic


infrequent cold sores of the lip

sun protection

infrequent constipation

teething or mild toothache

infrequent migraine


insect bites and stings

travel sickness

mild acne

warts and verrucae

haemorrhoids (piles)

oral thrush

head lice

prevention of tooth decay

indigestion and heartburn

ringworm or athlete's foot

minor pain, discomfort and fever (such as aches and sprains, headache, period pain, and back pain)

We are moving towards the idea that these conditions will usually be treated via “self-care”.   The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage these minor health concerns.  You can buy OTC medicines at your local pharmacy and/or supermarket for any of these conditions.

If you are prescribed medicines that are available over-the-counter for a chronic (long-term) medical condition, such as paracetamol for osteoarthritis, you will still have them prescribed by your GP.  

If you have certain long-term medical conditions we may still want you to see the GP or nurse for the conditions listed above, as it may be the most appropriate way for you to get your medicines and allow us to monitor your health.


Why are we doing this?

In the financial year 2017/18, the Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which our practice is part of, spent approximately £ 15.7 million on prescriptions for medicines which could otherwise be purchased over the counter from a pharmacy and/or other outlets such as petrol stations or supermarkets.  The costs to the NHS for many of the items used to treat minor conditions are often higher than the prices for which they can be purchased over-the-counter.


The benefits of this new policy include:

  • Fewer appointments in general practice will be taken up in dealing with conditions which are suitable for self-care. This means that more appointments will be available for those who need medical advice.
  • People will be encouraged to take more control over their own healthcare, using the skills of highly trained community pharmacists if they wish to do so.
  • NHS resources can be re-focussed towards other treatments e.g. new medicines to prevent strokes, better medicines to improve breathing, a wider variety of treatments for diabetes.

Where can I find more information?

See the Birmingham and Solihull CCG website for more information on the policy, frequently asked questions and where to get information to support ‘self-care’.

Over the Counter Medicines Patient Leaflet

Over the Counter Medicines Poster

Your Care Connected

Allowing healthcare professionals to view information from your GP record will provide them with important and potentially life-saving information; it will also help to reduce unnecessary repeat tests, such as blood tests and X-rays. Sharing your medical records could save your life.

Did you know... Your GP medical record is the most complete record of your health and wellbeing. But did you know that when you visit a hospital, access mental health or out of hours services, or need an ambulance, those treating you cannot access your record? Your local NHS feels that those involved in your care should be able to see vital information about you to help improve the medical care that you receive, which is why Your Care Connected is being implemented across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull. Your Care Connected will allow doctors, nurses and other registered healthcare professionals caring for you to view information from your GP record, with your permission, to provide you with better, safer care.

How this helps you •

  • Faster and easier access to your medical information, which could save your life
  • Provides information such as any medication you take and the dosage, any allergies you may have, the results of any recent medical tests you’ve had or which member of the GP practice staff you saw last 
  • Improves the safety and quality of your care 
  • Less time spent filling in forms 
  • More secure than your GP sending your record via fax or recorded delivery to the participating organisations (which is the current alternative) 
  • Enables safer delivery of care in an emergency

Who will be able to access your information?

When you visit one of the organisations below, the person treating you will ask for your permission to view information from your GP record using Your Care Connected.

This will help to provide you with better, safer care: • Birmingham Children’s Hospital • Birmingham Community Healthcare

  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust • Birmingham Women’s Hospital • Birmingham City Hospital • Good Hope Hospital • Heartlands Hospital • Queen Elizabeth Hospital • The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital • Sandwell General Hospital • Solihull Hospital • West Midlands Ambulance Service • Local out-of-hours GP services

Your Care Connected can only be used to view your information with your permission and for your direct care. Please note that clinicians may override your permission in the event of an emergency, for example if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate, or they feel it is essential to your health and wellbeing.

Your information will not be used for any other purposes, such as for research, or given /sold to third parties.

Protecting Information

The importance of privacy Only registered healthcare professionals can view your medical records and they will always ask permission before doing so. What’s more, access is provided through a locked network ensuring your information is always secured to the highest possible standards. The information you share will always be protected.

What will they see?

Health professionals treating you will only view the parts of your medical record listed below and only with your permission; if you allow them to access your record, it will provide them with a host of important information, including: • Allergies • Medication • Hospital admissions and referrals • Vaccinations and immunisations • Test results • Diagnoses • Treatment • Medical procedures • End of life wishes • Demographic information (age, gender etc.) • Concerns related to abuse of vulnerable children or adults.

What is not shared?

Your Care Connected does not share everything from your GP record. This is because we follow national guidance on patient confidentiality and the sharing of sensitive information. As a result, Your Care Connected does not currently share information relating to:

  • IVF treatment • HIV and AIDS • Sexually transmitted infections • Gender reassignment • Termination of pregnancy • Free text from GP record.

Your information, your choice

When it comes to your healthcare, you have the power to choose who can see your medical information, when they can see it and how they can access it. If you are happy to share your medical information with those treating you, you do not need to do anything further. If you visit one of the organisations listed on the previous page, those treating you will ask for your permission to view your record.

Opting Out

If you decide to ‘opt-out’ of Your Care Connected only your usual medical practice will be able to access your record electronically. Please be aware that opting out will mean your record is not available at all, even in emergency situations. If you wish to ‘opt-out’ please speak to your practice directly.

Would you like to know more?

Please visit

Alternatively, you can email the team

Or call them on Freephone 0333 150 3388

Download the patient leaflet Your Care Connected Patient Leaflet

Download the Opt Out Form Your Care Connected Opt Out Form

For more information about the changes to repeat prescriptions and the pharmacy - Repeat Prescription Changes PDF

News letters

The PPG (Patient Participation Group) aims to create regular newsletters so that all patients can keep up to date with the latest news from the practice. Below is the 1st issue available for download now.

Issue 1 (June 2017)

Issue 2 (August 2017)

Issue 3 (October 2017)

Issue 4 (December 2017)

Issue 5 (February 2018)

Issue 6 (April 2018)

National Diabetes Audit (NDA)

Richmond Medical Centre is taking part in an important national project about diabetes care and treatment in the NHS. the project is called the National Diabetes Audit (NDA).

To take part, your GP practice will share information about your diabetes care and treatment with the NDA. The type of information, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and enforced by strict rules of confidentiality and security.

For further information about how your information is used please see the NDA patient information leaflet

Taking part in the NDA shows that this GP practice is committed to improving care for people with diabetes.

Solihull GP Alliance

The NHS is ever changing and more so recently as it faces increasing pressures on its resources. There is a project currently being worked on known as the Sustainability and Transformation Plan .These are local plans that aim to improve health and care. Produced collaboratively by local NHS organisations and local councils, they set out practical ways for the local NHS to improve NHS services and health outcomes for people in every part of England. For us in Solihull, it will probably mean working more closely with our colleagues in Birmingham. You can out more here 

There are also pressures on primary care providers, like your local GP surgery to come together into larger groups to help streamline the way in which services are both commissioned and provided. There are a number of ways that this can be done, the main two being surgeries merging together to make one new large practice, or agreeing to work together in an alliance. This second option means that the GP Practice keeps its own staff and responsibilities for its patients, but that where appropriate and to the benefit of patients, it can work with likeminded practices to deliver services either more efficiently, or new services that would be either difficult or not effective for individual surgeries to offer. 

The following practices in Solihull have chosen the second option:

Bernays & Whitehouse, Monkspath, Hobs Moat, Haslucks, Jacey, Dorridge, Hampton, Arden, Balsall Common, Richmond Medical Centre, St Margarets and Grafton Road Surgeries

Over the coming months, we will give you more information about what ideas and services we might be able to provide for all our patients, please check back

The new collaboration has been called Solihull GP Alliance and it is hoped that very shortly, it will have its own website and social media feeds. If you have any queries, questions, or comments or even ideas for new services, please contact the practice manager.


if you are eligible for the MenACWY vaccine which prevents meningitis in young people, please read this letter MenACWY_Student letter

Kidney risk - PDF Acute Kidney Risk

Learn a little bit more by downloading and reading this informative leaflet about Vitamin D.  Click the link below to begin the download.  free vitamin D leaflet "Vitamin D what it is and who needs it"

PPG ( Patient Participation Group) – We need your views

Would you like to receive news from your Practice first hand?

Are you interested in learning more about health and associated matters?

Would you like to receive any of this information on a regular basis?

If so, then all it needs is your name and e-mail address (this will never be forwarded onto anyone but the practice).

Please contact your Patient Participation Group either through reception or any Group member.

*if you would like more information on the group and how it works please click this link*->




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