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A pharmacist is pictured with two pharmacy assistants.

Common Ailments Scheme

Did you know that some of the work traditionally done by GPs is now done by pharmacists instead? This includes offering prescription-only medication for a number of minor ailments without the need to see a doctor first. You can also get over-the-counter treatments for a wide number of everyday conditions - and you won't have to pay for them.

It's called the Common Ailments Scheme. You must register with the pharmacy to use the scheme, but the process only takes a few minutes.

Consultations are carried out in a private room and if the pharmacist decides you still need to see a doctor they will refer you.

For more information on the Common Ailments Scheme, please follow this link.

Common ailments covered by the scheme:


Athletes' foot

Backache (acute)


Cold sores


Conjunctivitis (bacterial)


Dermatitis (acute)


Dry eye



Head lice


Ingrowing toenail


Mouth ulcers

Nappy rash

Oral thrush


Sore throat/tonsillitis



Vaginal thrush


Sore Throat Scheme

Please note this scheme is currently paused because of Covid.

From 1st December 2019, 20 local pharmacies are also offering a see and treat service for patients over the age of six with sore throats. They offer a while-you-wait swab test to determine if the sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection. If it is, you can be offered antibiotics directly by the pharmacist, without needing to get a prescription from a GP. To find out more, please click on this link to see the list of pharmacists participating in the see and treat sore throat service.




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