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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 advice or 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

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.

Emergency Contraception

Your local pharmacy is able to provide confidential access to NHS contraceptive services, without the need for an appointment. The services available include the provision of emergency contraception, bridging contraception and sexual health advice. These services are available free of charge if supply is deemed appropriate following a consultation with an accredited pharmacist.

Bridging contraception allows an accredited pharmacist to offer a three-month supply of a contraceptive pill, to bridge the gap between emergency contraception and accessing a longer-term contraception. This helps to allow patients to research and seek advice on their options and the choices for long-term contraception.

Follow this link to the NHS 111 Wales website where you can find a list of pharmacies that offer this service by selecting 'Provides Emergency Contraception (EC)' in the filter menu.

Emergency Medicine Supply

The Emergency Medicine Supply Service provides the supply of urgently required repeat medication. 

If you cannot obtain a repeat prescription and cannot wait until your next prescription is due, or your GP is open, or if you are out of the area, you can visit your local pharmacy who may be able to supply you with your regular repeat prescription medication in emergency circumstances.

Follow this link to the NHS 111 Wales website where you can find a list of pharmacies that offer this service by selecting 'Emergency Medicine Supply (EMS)' in the filter menu.



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We welcome correspondence and telephone calls in Welsh or English. Welsh language correspondence will be replied to in Welsh, and this will not lead to a delay. This page is available in Welsh by clicking ‘Cymraeg’ at the top right of this page.