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Think pharmacy first this festive season

8 December 2021

People are being encouraged to visit their local pharmacist for minor conditions this winter, rather than contacting their GP or attending an accident and emergency department.

From back pain to heart burn to teething, pharmacists can provide free advice and treatment for a range of common conditions for the whole family.

The Common Ailments Service covers 27 conditions whereby a pharmacist can assess and provide medication at no charge, if suitable, without the need for a prescription. The service allows patients to seek advice or treatment from a participating community pharmacy, rather than their GP, for a defined list of ailments.

The pharmacist will, after a short consultation on the phone or in person, give advice, supply medication from an NHS agreed list or if necessary, refer the patient to their GP.

Richard Evans, a Community Pharmacist participating in the Common Ailments Service, said: “Community pharmacists have traditionally advised patients on a wide range of ailments. We have always recommended appropriate treatments to the patient, or if necessary refer them to another healthcare professional.

“Throughout the pandemic, the dispensing of prescriptions has remained the main focus however some other services are also available, such as the Common Ailments Service, emergency supply of medication and emergency contraception.

“Some of these services can now be done via telephone consultation, with the patient or a carer/family member collecting any necessary medication.

“Don’t forget to order any repeat medication in plenty of time, at least seven days before you run out.”

In addition to the professional expertise offered at pharmacies, eligible patients can still receive their free flu vaccine to protect themselves and others this winter.

Please do not visit a pharmacy if you or anyone in your household has any COVID-19 symptoms.

For contact details and Christmas and New Year opening times for your local pharmacy, please visit: (opens in new tab)