Hay fever sufferers have been told to buy treatment over the counter – and told their GP won’t prescribe it unless there is a ‘clinical need’.
They have been warned that, unless the hay fever affects other conditions such as asthma, they’ll be turned away by their doctor.
Dr Amanda Doyle, GP at Bloomfield Medical Centre and Blackpool CCG’s chief clinical officer, said: “Antihistamines can be bought over the counter and are very cheap. They are used to treat a range of allergies that are common in the summer, including bee stings and insect bites, as well as hay fever.
“Your pharmacist can give advice on which antihistamines are best for you, your children, or others who may need them.
“There’s no need to visit your GP, unless it is causing complications to other conditions, or if over-the-counter isn’t working.”
And Dr Tony Naughton, GP at The Thornton Practice, and Fylde and Wyre CCG’s chief clinical officer, added: “Around one in four people suffer from hay fever so this time of year can be a nightmare.
“The problem is easily fixed with a trip to your pharmacist early in the summer before pollen counts go up.”