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.
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.
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.
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.