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Got a common ailment? Visit your local pharmacist rather than your GP for advice and treatment

For common ailments such as back pain or in-growing toenails Carmarthenshire residents are being told to visit their local pharmacist for advice and treatment rather than contacting their GP or attending A&E to help Keep Wales Safe.

The way we access local NHS services has changed to help take the strain off our hospitals, A&E departments and GP surgeries. The Common Ailments Scheme allows pharmacists to assess and treat up to 26 minor conditions, with all medicines being given free of charge without the need for a prescription. The scheme is available at over 50 community pharmacies across Carmarthenshire.

The conditions included under the Common Ailments Scheme include indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, piles, hay fever, head lice, teething, nappy rash, colic, chicken pox, threadworms, sore throat, athlete’s foot, eye infections, conjunctivitis, intertrigo, mouth ulcers, cold sores, acne, dry skin/dermatitis, ringworm, verruca, back pain, in growing toenails, vaginal thrush, oral thrush and scabies.

In a recent YouGov survey carried out for the Welsh Government’s Keep Wales Safe campaign, 88 percent of those surveyed in Mid and West Wales stated it was important to be able to speak to a medically trained pharmacist for the treatment of a common ailment. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed had visited a pharmacy which runs the Common Ailment Service at least once over the past 12 months and of those, 24% had visited a pharmacy more than five times.

Richard Evans, a community pharmacist participating in the Common Ailments Service, said: “During the current pandemic we are encouraging everyone to help us to help you – please make your local pharmacy your first port of call. We can offer expert advice and treatment for the majority of common ailments. If you are showing COVID-19 symptoms please don’t visit us but be assured we can do the consultation with the patient over the phone and a carer/family member can collect any necessary medication.”  

Sixty two percent of those surveyed by YouGov in Mid and West Wales said they will continue to access NHS services using the new ways that have been introduced as a result of the pandemic. The new methods include making more use of pharmacists; virtual GP consultations and using the NHS 111 online and telephone services.

Please do not visit a pharmacy if you or anyone in your household has any COVID-19 symptoms. For the contact details of all local pharmacies throughout Carmarthenshire visit: