Trade for prosperity

First port of call for minor ailments 

Here we discuss some of the pharmacy-based services for treating minor ailments 

Your local pharmacy is the best first port of call for the vast majority of health concerns, and most certainly for common illnesses such as eye infections and tummy aches.

Read on to find out about some of the pharmacy-based services for treating minor ailments.

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland

You do not need an appointment to access the NHS Pharmacy First Scotland scheme and you can go to any pharmacy. Your pharmacist will give you advice on your minor illness and supply a medicine if they think you need it (for a range of clinical conditions, from acne to verrucas). They can also refer you to another health care professional (for example your GP) if they think this is necessary.

Pharmacists, like GPs, can only provide certain medicines and products on the NHS. All of these are proven to be effective for treating your condition. If you want a specific medicine or product, you may need to buy it. The pharmacist will give you advice on this.

Common Ailments Scheme (Wales)

The Common Ailments Service is a free NHS service in Wales that you can access for advice and treatment of a variety of medical conditions.

The service involves patient registration with the pharmacy, one-to- one consultation with the pharmacist, advice on treatment where needed or referral (for example to a GP) if necessary.

Pharmacists can offer advice and treatment for the following conditions: Acne, athletes’ foot, backache (acute), chickenpox, cold sores, colic, conjunctivitis (bacterial), constipation, dermatitis (acute), diarrhoea, dry eye, haemorrhoids, hayfever, head lice, indigestion/reflux, ingrowing toenail, intertrigo/ringworm, mouth ulcers, nappy rash, oral thrush, scabies, sore throat/tonsillitis, teething, threadworm, vaginal thrush, verruca.

Minor Ailments Scheme (Northern Ireland)

Using this service, pharmacists can give advice or medicines for treatment of certain ailments to suitable patients. Referral into the service is from GP practices, the community pharmacist or self-referral by the patient. Minor ailments covered are acne vulgaris, athlete’s foot, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, headlice, groin area infection, threadworms, vaginal thrush, ear wax, mouth ulcers, oral thrush, scabies, verrucae.

Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (England)

The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) launched in October 2019. CPCS links patients who might otherwise have gone to see a GP with a minor illness, or patients who need an urgent supply of a medicine with a community pharmacy. NHS111 or your local GP surgery will make a digital referral to a convenient pharmacy, where  the patient will receive pharmacist advice and, if appropriate, treatment.

You get the option of having a face-to-face or remote consultation with the pharmacist.

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