To put it quite simply: Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals with the clinical know-how to give you the help you need. They can assess your minor illness and recommend the right treatment, whether it’s over-the-counter medicines, a few days rest or a bit of reassurance.

Most pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You don’t need an appointment – you can just walk in. Thay often have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.

Let us show you in more detail, what exactly what your local pharmacy can do for you:

Help With Your Medicine

Pharmacists can answer your questions on prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

All pharmacies provide the following services:

  • dispensing of NHS prescriptions
  • access to the repeat prescription service (with agreement from your GP)
  • an emergency supply of medicine (subject to the decision of the pharmacist)
  • non-prescription medicines like paracetamol
  • disposal of unwanted or out-of-date medicines
  • advice on treating minor health concerns and healthy living

Repeat Prescriptions

If you’re regularly prescribed the same medicine, your GP may offer a prescription that can be repeated several times.

You choose which pharmacy you would prefer to collect your prescriptions from and your GP will send your prescription there.

You’ll then be able to collect your repeat medicines directly from the pharmacy you have chosen until your doctor needs to review your treatment. This means fewer trips to the GP just to get another prescription.

If you are using this service, you will need to contact your chosen pharmacy a few days before you run out of medicine to ask for a new prescription and find out when it will be ready.

As part of this service, the pharmacist will ask if you’re having any problems or side effects with your prescription medicines and, where appropriate, they can discuss this with you and your GP.

Minor Illness

Pharmacies can give treatment advice about a range of common conditions and minor injuries, such as:

  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • coughs
  • colds
  • flu
  • earache
  • cystitis
  • skin rashes
  • teething
  • red eye

If you want to buy an over-the-counter medicine, the pharmacist and their team can help you choose.

Antibiotics will not be available over the counter to treat minor conditions.

Other pharmacy services

Other services that may be available at your local pharmacy:

  • you may be referred to a pharmacy for advice after calling NHS 111
  • emergency contraception
  • asthma inhaler use and advice
  • chlamydia screening and treatment
  • stop smoking service
  • blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar testing
  • substance misuse service, including needle and syringe exchange schemes
  • weight management service
  • flu vaccination
  • medicine use reviews
  • disposing old medicines


Pharmacies are equipped with highly trained healthcare professionals. Visiting your local pharmacy may end up being the best place for you to visit when dealing with certain medical situations. They can help with a great deal of ailments, treatments and scenarios.

Before trying to book an appointment with your GP surgery, think whether it would be quicker and better to see your pharmacist – if anything, it may save a GP appointment for someone who truly needs it.

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