Quick help for more conditions at your local pharmacy
Your local pharmacist can now help you and your family with even more common illnesses and ailments.
Launched last week, the new scheme, Pharmacy First Advanced, means you can get help directly from a community pharmacy for seven more conditions.
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About Pharmacy First Advanced
You can now get help and treatment for seven health issues at a local pharmacist without a prescription or referral from a GP practice.
Here’s what you get help with:
- Earache/ear infections (aged 1-17)
- Impetigo/skin infections (1 year +)
- Infected insect bites (1 year +)
- Shingles (Aged 18+)
- Sinusitis (Aged 12+)
- Sore throats (5 years +)
- Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections, or UTIs (Women aged 16-64)
Over 10,000 pharmacies – 95% of all those in England – have signed up.
How to get help
To get help with those seven conditions, you can go directly to the pharmacy of your choice (providing they are signed up).
No appointment is needed. You can turn up and ask to be seen. You may be able to contact the pharmacy online in advance.
You can speak to a pharmacist in a separate consulting room, where they will ask you about your condition and examine you if necessary.
They might also ask your permission to access your medical records. This allows them to check for health conditions, current medication, allergies, or reactions to medication.
Pharmacists can assess your condition and prescribe medication without your GP being involved. Your health record will also be updated with this information.
You can find pharmacies near you and the services they offer on the NHS website.
You might also be directed to the Pharmacy First Advanced service by a GP practice, urgent treatment centre, or NHS 111 (online, by phone or in the NHS App).
Why it helps
There are some clear benefits to patients.
Firstly, no appointment is needed with a pharmacist – you can turn up and ask to be seen. If medicine is required, it can be prescribed and dispensed while you are there, so it is a quicker, more accessible, all-in-one service.
Also, pharmacies may be open when GP practices are closed, such as later into the evening or at weekends.
Plus, you can use different pharmacies. So, if you’re on holiday, working away, or another pharmacy is more convenient, you can go to wherever works best for you.
Remember, while over 10,000 locations are signed up, the scheme only operates in England.
Many pharmacists offer other services, like NHS flu vaccinations, free blood pressure checks and contraceptive pills without prescription.
With people able to get help and treatment directly from their pharmacist, the NHS estimates that it could free up 10 million GP appointments yearly. For context, more than 30 million appointments are often offered monthly in England.
More people getting quick, easy, and convenient solutions to their health needs either remotely or away from GP practices can make it easier for you to be seen when you need to be.
Find a Pharmacist
Enter your postcode below and search for Pharmacies – or other NHS services – near you.