Pharmacy First

Feeling unwell with your minor illness? The NHS Pharmacy First service means that patients should visit their local pharmacy before visiting their GP for their minor illness.

For the below 7 conditions, you can now have a face-to-face consultation with a in a consultation room with your pharmacist and get treatment on prescription*. The 7 conditions are:

  • earache (aged 1 to 17 years)
  • impetigo (aged 1 year and over)
  • infected insect bites (aged 1 year and over)
  • shingles (aged 18 years and over)
  • sinusitis (aged 12 years and over)
  • sore throat (aged 5 years and over)
  • urinary tract infections or UTIs (women aged 16 to 64 years)

For most minor ailments, our reception team will still signpost or refer you to your local pharmacy for treatment over-the-counter. This is not a prescription.

If you have a new minor illness, we will often ask you to visit a pharmacy first – we can refer you to have a same-day consultation with your pharmacist. This is because most minor illnesses do not need treatment from a GP, and allows us to offer appointments to patients with illnesses which cannot be treated over-the-counter at a pharmacy.

For examples of minor illnesses which can be treated over-the-counter, click here.

A GP, nurse or pharmacist will generally not give you a prescription for over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor health conditions. This is because of government policy to reduce the amount of money the NHS spends on prescriptions for treating minor conditions that usually get better on their own.

For examples of minor health conditions that we do not prescribe for, click here.

There are exemptions to this rule which you can learn more about by clicking here.