Don’t Abuse the NHS!

The NHS is under a lot of stran. There isn’t an unlimited pot of money and whether it or not, cuts have to be made. One thing that is not going to help is people abusing the system under the Minor Ailments Scheme.

This scheme was set up a while ago to encourage people to seek advice from a pharmacist for minor ailments such as coughs, colds, hayfever, insect bites etc rather than take up a valuable GP appointment. Don’t get me wrong – if you’re worried about something, especially when it comes to the kids, you should always get it checked. However, I do know of a parent that rushes their otherwise healthy child to the doctors or the hospital every time they have a cough, cold or upset tummy. She can’t understand why she isn’t sent home with medication for them, and moans when she can’t get appointments for things that really do need a doctor. Jeez, if I took the kids to the doctors every time one of them was under the weather, we’d be there every day. It’s only Wednesday and so far this week all three kids have snot dripping from their noses, coughs like a 20 a day smoker, we’ve had some pretty dodgy nappies and puke. It’s all down to having a cold, and I’m not worried. If I was, the first place I would go to is the pharmacy, who would tell me to keep them hydrated and give them Calpol or the like to keep any temperatures down and make them feel a bit more comfortable. This is what the minor ailments scheme is for.  However, under this scheme I’d also be entitled to get calpol, head lice lotion, hayfever medicine, plasters and various other over the counter medication. This scheme has gone viral over Facebook in the last week or so, which I think is really irresponsible. I’ve seen people comment saying things like ‘I’ll be heading to Boots to stock up this week’. I can’t imagine the pharmacy would give out more than one bottle at a time, but if every single person with a child does this, can you imagine how many bottles of calpol and how many packets of plasters would be given out – for free?

Yes, we all want to save a few quid here and there, but you saving £3 on a bottle of calpol and 30p on a pack of plasters costs someone else – the NHS. I’ve heard varying amounts of how much it costs them, but whatever it is, it still costs them. That money has to come from somewhere, whether it’s another department in the NHS or even something totally different, such as the education or the defense budget. Wherever it comes from, it’s going to affect you and your kids.

Imagine if in a couple of years they need to make cuts on some life saving treatment in order to pay for all the bottles of free calpol and plasters? People aren’t going to be very happy! Calpol costs about £3 in the supermarket, less for an own brand which is identical. If you have children, you are responsible for making sure you have what they need, and that includes things like this. Don’t leave it until you’ve ran out and skint to get some – add it to your shopping list when you know you’re coming to the end of a packet or bottle.

Please, please, please, before you share that status, before you run to the pharmacy to stock up on over the counter medication, have a think. Do you need it? Can you buy it yourself? Don’t abuse the NHS. It is there for people who really need it, not to stock up your medicine cupboard.


17 thoughts on “Don’t Abuse the NHS!

  1. This really has gone viral this week and you’ve made some very valid points as to why people shouldn’t take advantage of it. In my area, quite rightly, I believe, you are only entitled to free medicines under the minor ailment scheme if you’re also on benefits.

    1. As far as I can make out, anyone who doesn’t have to pay for prescriptions is entitled, so anyone on benefits and kids. If someone needs it desperately, that’s one thing, but making this viral is opening it up for abuse! Thanks for commenting.

  2. I think it needs to be monitored VERY Carefully. I have seen so many people say they are going to ‘stock up’ – they are just going to get them for the sake of it, not because they necessarily need it, which is what my issue is. They see it is free so they are going to take advantage of it. x

  3. I totally understand where you are coming from. It is an issue and the system should not be abused. I have been in the situation where I could not afford meds and in those circumstances I’d be very grateful for this scheme.
    On the other hand I am someone who has a life threatening illness and is unable to get the treatment I need through the NHS or the GP appointment on time. I also had to wait much longer than usual to see specialists at the hospital- which made my health much worse and partially bed bound for almost two years. The NHS need to be putting the money into the right places and or make sure there is no room to abuse the situation. Maybe this is why…when my husband genuinely went to get calpol for my child who is sick..using the prescription scheme we were sent away and told to visit the GP.

    You may be interested in my post- “My adrenal crisis and the truth about how I feel” – A very relevant post in relation to the above! I can not even get a life saving emergency injection which I may need at any time!

    Angela xx

    1. I am so sorry that you cannot get the treatment you so desperately need whilst others can use this scheme to stock up their medicine cabinets. I think our NHS does an amazing job, but there are so many problems with it. It is so open to abuse. I’m not sure how it could change, but it does need to change. Thankyou for sharing your story – I’ve popped by and left a comment. x

  4. Ive also seen this on facebook the past week and like your saying it only cost £3 to buyfrom supermarkets, believe it or not theone poundland sells seems far more effective for my kids so I always make sure I have some in stock. I only ever take mine drs these days if I think they really need it as most times just get told to give calpol anyway

  5. Yes I agree, if monitored and records kept such as to flag up people using it above what would be expected. Then those people could be called in, as the problem may be worth a GP checking out again as they may be missing something important. If they are abusing the system then they should be held to account.

    This is a worry of mine, that people will self diagnose too much, but the sensible ones amongst us trust our gut feeling don’t we? We know our children inside and out and I believe we KNOW when something is wrong…sixth sense. But yeah, With computerisation as it is I cannot see why backed up with a good recording system it could be monitored. For God’s sake we go into space!!! Hehe! x

  6. People have been abusing NHS prescription services for years, getting paracetamol for free etc when they cost about 30p. But it doesn’t just stop at products for minor ailments. People get alsorts such as Dior face creams to help alleviate skin conditions. The wise of the NHS needs to stop, it’s not an endless pit of money and people will/are missing out on treatments they need to fund the people looking for a freebie.

    1. Dior Face Creams? Seriously? That takes the mickey! Thankyou for commenting x

  7. I’ve read lots of bit on Facebook about this too. And I think that as long as others have a healthy attitude about the (like you do) then it should be fine.
    I agree that something like this should be means tested or have a cap – maybe one bottle of paracetamol and one bottle of brufen per child per year?! I’m not part of the scheme (although I’ve heard of it), so I’m unsure of the ins and outs… but perhaps if it were limited to just one pharmacy people would be shamed into limited themselves? But getting plasters? Seriously? What are the NHS thinking???
    Sadly, this is one of those things that sometimes people will just abuse because they feel they’re ‘entitled’. I like to think the NHS have enough sense to allocate budgets to different things and once the budget for care of the chemist runs out it’s gone! It’ll certainly go out of the window if UK healthcare is ever privatised….?
    This seems to have turned into a bit of an essay! Lol 🙂 Great post xx

    1. Thankyou for your comment 🙂 If people are sensible and only use it when they really need to (which is what it is there for), it’s a great idea, but sadly, so many will abuse it if they can. I hope you’re right re budgets, I really do! x

  8. YES! I totally agree with you here, lets not abuse a helpful scheme by being greedy. Yes, Ok if you really need it and their is no other way you can afford. But why not just buy some when you have pennies? Instead if the bottle of wine or other luxury? And also…our local hospital doesn’t even prescription calpol or give calpol at the hosptal. It is, in fact, the very same bottle they sell in poundland and home bargains (I believe its just 79p in home bargains!) no word of a lie!

    I can see its a great scheme, I can also see it is going to get taken advantage off, and then taken away, when people who really do need a treatment wont be able to gt it!

  9. I am so with you on this . I have no issue with this scheme for people who are genuinely struggling to afford these things but I think using it when you can easily afford to buy Calpol is unfair – it is taking money away from the NHS when it could be better spent elsewhere. I have a child with complex medical needs whose long-term future depends on the healthcare she receives and the future of the NHS is something that worries me a lot. Hearing stories about people taking money away from the NHS just to get something for free that they can afford to pay for in the first place makes me quite cross to be honest. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this – have to confess I’d been toying with the idea of writing something very similar.

  10. I *think* that I’ve used this service. I was suffering, I’d gone out and forgotten my medication for labyrinthitis. I was swaying and felt so sick. Popped to the first chemist I saw, they said they can’t sell me what I needed but they could prescribe it. She phoned my doctor and then I left with 4 tablets to last just that say, and was so grateful. I’d have paid mind, I was ROUGH but I had to be with my son as it was his birthday day out!

    1. I think the service itself is a brilliant idea. If people genuinely need something, then by all means use it. If used properly, it will save the NHS money and appointments. However, I think if not monitored very carefully it is open to abuse from those who don’t need it. What worried and angered me was the attitude of some people towards it – that because it is free they need to go and take advantage right away!!

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