How does it work?
If you visit a pharmacy and have a common ailment you can ask the pharmacist for advice. The pharmacist may ask if you wish to register for the service. Registering means the pharmacist may supply you with the medicine you need free of charge.
What does the service offer?
You will receive advice and free treatment from your community pharmacist for common minor illnesses and ailments such as:
• indigestion • constipation • diarrhoea • piles • hay fever • head lice • teething • nappy rash • colic • chicken pox • threadworms • sore throat • athlete’s foot • eye infections • mouth ulcers • cold sores • acne • dry eyes • dermatitis • verruca • back pain • vaginal thrush • oral thrush • scabies • ringworm • interigo • ingrowing toenails
Each year 25% of the population visit their GP for a respiratory tract infection (eg sinus, throat or chest infection). These are usually caused by viruses.
For patients who are otherwise healthy, antibiotics are not necessary for viral infections.
These infections will normally clear up by looking after yourself at home with rest, plenty of fluids and paracetamol.
Ear infections typically last 4 days
89% of cases clear up on their own
A sore throat typically lasts 7 days
40% of cases clear up after 3 days and 90% after 7 days without antibiotics
Sinusitis typically lasts 17 days
80% clear up in 14 days without antibiotics
Cough/bronchitis typically lasts 21 days
Antibiotics reduce symptoms by only 1 day
Antibiotics only work for infections caused by bacteria.
Taking unnecessary antibiotics for viral infections should be avoided because they may not be effective next time you have a bacterial infection.
Patients with long-term conditions such as asthma, diabetes and COPD are eligible for flu and pneumococcal vaccinations. Ask at reception for more information.
You may need to show the pharmacist some form of identification before you can use the service but this will depend on whether you are known to the pharmacist.
The pharmacist will check your details against the NHS Wales Welsh Demographic Service to confirm that you are registered with a GP Practice in Wales.
You don’t have to make an appointment. You can go along at a time that suits you.
Your consultation will always be with a qualified pharmacist and will take place in a confidential area within the pharmacy.
If your pharmacist agrees that you need a medicine or product to treat your symptoms they may give it to you free of charge.
If you do not wish to register with the service the pharmacist will provide you with advice but will not be able to supply any free medicine. Who is the service for? You can use the service if you live in Wales and are registered with a GP Practice. You will still have to go to your GP if:
- Your pharmacist suggests that you should, or
- You need a medicine that you can only get on prescription from your GP
Can I still go to my GP?
You can still make an appointment with your GP if you feel this is more suitable.
Can I still go to other pharmacies?
You can use other pharmacies to buy medicines or to pick up your prescriptions but remember;
You can only use the service at the community pharmacy you are registered at; and
It is safer if only one pharmacy has a record of all the medicines you are taking so that they can be sure that if your health changes your medicines are still suitable for you