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Visit your pharmacy first this holiday season

21 December 2022

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.

Please phone before attending your local pharmacy to check that services are available on any given day. Your pharmacist, after a short consultation, will be able to provide advice and 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.

“Other services are also available, such as the sore throat test and treat service, UTI service, emergency contraception and emergency supply of 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.

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