The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire policy on Hay fever 

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Dear patient of the Calverton Practice

Recently we have been receiving requests for prescriptions for medication available over the counter for hay fever. Copied below are extracts from the local NHS guidelines on this.

As part of its self-care strategy, in line with National Guidance, NHS Nottingham & Nottinghamshire ICB does not support the routine prescribing of antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops for the treatment of mild to moderate hay fever / seasonal rhinitis. Patients should be advised to purchase these products over the counter (OTC).


  • All patients currently prescribed treatment for mild to moderate hay fever / seasonal rhinitis should be reviewed with a view to stopping prescribing and recommending an OTC product for self-care. 
  • Patients can seek advice directly with the Community Pharmacist or via referral from the GP Surgery using the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS). The advantage of the CPCS referral is that the outcome of the consultation is sent to the GP surgery so that this can be included in the GP patient record. 
  • Being exempt from paying a prescription charge does not warrant an exception to the guidance. 
  • National Guidance recommends that prescriptions to treat mild to moderate hay fever / seasonal rhinitis should not be routinely offered as the condition is appropriate for self-care. 
  • Hay fever is a common allergic condition that affects up to one in five people.
  • There’s currently no cure for hay fever, but most people with mild to moderate symptoms can relieve symptoms with OTC treatments recommended by a pharmacist. 
  • The severity of symptoms can vary; some people need medication to manage their symptoms and others can manage their condition by avoiding triggers, for further information see:
  • OTC medications are usually cheaper than a prescription and can be purchased without seeing a GP. 

Any patient queries or complaints should be directed to the Patient Experience Team on 0115 883 9570 or email [email protected].

Dr Phil Rayner, The Calverton Practice

(copy for patients of the Calverton Practice)