ANTI-DANDRUFF shampoo, toothpaste and suncream are among basic items being prescribed by Bradford GPs, the Taxpayers' Alliance has revealed.

A national report out today by the Alliance says many of the everyday items are available at supermarkets for people to buy themselves, often at a much cheaper price.

Other items on an A-Z list of items prescribed on the NHS included yoghurt drinks, petroleum jelly, mouthwash, painkillers, smoking cessation gum and hay fever remedies.

Also on the list but no longer prescribed in Bradford were gluten-free bread, biscuits and pasta.

In 2016/2017 the overall local NHS prescribing costs were £53.7m for Bradford City CCG, £17.9m for Bradford Districts CCG and £27.2m for Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG.

John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It can't be right that taxpayers' money is being wasted on basic items that are much cheaper to buy in the supermarket than they are to prescribe.

"The NHS should be cutting out waste where it can and offering value for money, ensuring that precious resources are spent on essential services. We know that groundbreaking new drugs are often refused funding, so it's time that the NHS cuts out wasteful spending on everyday items and thinks again about its priorities."

A spokesperson from the NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) said: “Some of the items listed by the Taxpayers’ Alliance are prescribed by GP practices within our CCGs. However, in the vast majority of these cases, this is part of the required management of long term conditions and usually for patients who have complex health needs. Prescriptions for these items are prescribed only for specific clinical indications.

“Our CCGs have run several campaigns to encourage people to self-care and avoid inappropriate use of general practice. We also discourage the prescribing of items – such as those outlined by the Taxpayers’ Alliance – where they are available over the counter and are cost effective, for the management of short-term minor ailments.

“Following recent consultations by all three CCGs, the prescribing of gluten-free items, such as bread and pasta, is no longer recommended. There is also a national consultation underway regarding reducing prescribing of over-the-counter medicines for 33 minor, short-term health concerns.”