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Information For Patients Regarding Vitamin D Posted on 19 Sep 2018

Following the results of an NHS England patient consultation, it was recommend that supplements and medications readily available over the counter should not be routinely prescribed.  We have therefore been reviewing all our patients prescribed vitamin D (Colecalciferol) supplements for maintenance or prevention deficiency and taken the decision to stop all repeat prescriptions for vitamin D.

If you require vitamin D, it is recommended that you purchase a vitamin D supplement sufficient to provide doses between 800 i.u. (20ug) and 2000i.u (50ug) daily. 

This is available at low cost and your Community Pharmacist, who is an expert in medicines, will be able to advise you on appropriate options. You do not need to make an appointment with your pharmacist so there is no need to wait to be seen. You can also make some lifestyle improvements which can help increase your vitamin D levels. Below is additional information on how to make lifestyle improvements to increase vitamin D levels.

Further information can also be found on NHS choices website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/

The Association of UK Dieticians: www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/VitaminD.pdf

Any patient queries or complaints for Nottingham West CCG, Rushcliffe CCG and Nottingham North & East CCG should be directed to the Patient Experience Team on  0800 028 3693 or email nnestccg.pet@nhs.net

Any patient queries or complaints for Mansfield & Ashfield CCG and Newark & Sherwood CCG should be directed to the Patient Experience Team on  0800 028 3693 or email NSHCCG.Pet-North@nhs.net

Any patient queries or complaints for Nottingham City CCG should be directed to the Patient Experience Team on 0115 883 9570 or email ncccg.patientexperience@nhs.net

How can you increase your vitamin D levels?

Vitamin D from the sun

Sunlight helps the skin on our body to produce vitamin D, however it is important that sun exposure is as safe as possible. Small amounts of incidental sunlight, as you might get through your daily activities, may help to boost your vitamin D levels and just exposing your face and forearms to the sun should be enough, however it is important that any sun exposure is as safe as possible. If you are at high risk of skin cancer (fair skin, family history, have more than 50 moles or take certain medication), you should make protecting your skin in the sun a priority, and look to get as much vitamin D as possible from other sources, such as your diet and supplements, rather than placing yourself at higher risk from skin cancer.

It is not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D to meet the body's requirements. This is because there are a number of factors that can affect how vitamin D is made, such as your skin colour or how much skin you have exposed. But you should be careful not to burn in the sun, so take care to cover up, or protect your skin with sunscreen.

Take a regular vitamin D supplement.

Products marketed as nutritional supplements are available over the counter from pharmacies, health food shops or supermarkets. Supplements containing 1000 units (25 micrograms) of vitamin D are considerably cheaper to purchase than those containing 400 units (10 micrograms) or 800 units (20 micrograms). These typically cost less than £1 to buy for a month’s supply. Your Community Pharmacist can advise you on appropriate products.

Women and children.

The Healthy Start scheme can get free supplements containing the recommended amounts of vitamin D. More information can be obtained from https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/ or by asking your midwife/health visitor.

Eat foods that contain higher amounts of vitamin D as part of a healthy balanced diet, such as:

  • Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and tuna
  • Red meat
  • Beef liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Whole milk
  • Fortified foods – such as most margarines, soy yoghurts, soy milk, almond milk and some breakfast cereals.

Information on vitamin D is also available on NHS choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Vitamin-D.aspx

The Association of UK Dieticians: www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/VitaminD.pdf

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