Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can help you with minor health concerns.
As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.
Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment.
Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.
Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)
The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) was launched by NHS England to facilitate patients having a same day appointment with their community pharmacist for minor illness or an urgent supply of a regular medicine, improving access to services and providing more convenient treatment closer to patients’ homes.
The service is helping to alleviate pressure on GP appointments and emergency departments, in addition to harnessing the skills and medicines knowledge of pharmacists. Should the patient need to be escalated or referred to an alternative service, the pharmacist can arrange this.
Disposing of Old Medicines
If your medicine is out of date, unwanted, or some of it is left over after you have stopped taking it, do not put it in your household bin or flush it down the toilet. Instead, take it to your pharmacy to be disposed of safely.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines
Did you know that your local NHS spends £15m a year on prescribing medicines that are available to buy at the pharmacy?
Following national guidance from NHS England, our GPs are asked not to prescribe these medicines (there are some exceptions, see the below link), including for conditions such as coughs, colds, headaches, mouth ulcers, travel sickness and mild toothache.
Your GP will not generally give you a prescription for over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor health concerns. Instead, over-the-counter medicines are available to buy at your local pharmacy.