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We are a partnership of NHS, councils, and voluntary sector organisations, working together to improve health and care in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, and Islington.  

Home E Keeping Well E Self-care


NHS North Central London Integrated Care Board (NCL ICB) is committed to delivering best value to patients by ensuring that we use our resources well.

Therefore, to help us to support the cost effective, evidence-based use of medicines, NCL ICB no longer supports the routine prescribing of probiotics, vitamins and minerals and medicines that can be bought over-the-counter for self-limiting, short-term illnesses and minor conditions.

By managing minor health needs through self-care, it will help to ease the pressure on the NHS.

Self-care means looking after yourself in a healthy way, whether it is brushing your teeth, taking medicine when you have hay fever or doing some exercise. Advice from organisations such as the Self Care Forum and NHS.UK is readily available on the internet.

Managing minor health needs through self-care is in line with the NHS England Guidance for ICBs: ‘Conditions for which over the counter medicines should not be routinely prescribed in primary care’.

NCL ICB position statement on the prescribing of medicines available to purchase over the counter for self-limiting and minor health conditions.

• Prescribing of over-the-counter medicines – NHSE (6 pages)
• Prescribing of over-the-counter medicines – NHSE Easy Read
• Prescribing of over-the-counter medicines – NHSE Leaflet to print

Self-care Pharmacy First – Pilot scheme

Since July 2021, the boroughs of Camden, Haringey, and Islington have been running a pilot scheme called Self-care Pharmacy First.

Through this scheme, community pharmacies provide socially vulnerable patients on low income with medicines for the management of minor health conditions that they might otherwise not be able to afford.

Extended until 31 March 2024, the scheme is expanding to include Barnet and Enfield. As community pharmacies in these boroughs sign up to the scheme, the below list of participating pharmacies will be expanded.

• Self-care Pharmacy First – patient information leaflet (V3.4)
• Self-care Pharmacy First – List of participating community pharmacies in Camden, Haringey, and Islington (v3.9)