When you call for an appointment at the practice, the receptionist may advise you see your Pharmacist first for minor ailments or illnesses.
Your local pharmacy is the place to go to get any prescription medicines and clinical advice for minor health concerns. But they do a lot more than that.
As well as helping with common illnesses – like sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains – pharmacy teams can also help with stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol, advice on safe sex and emergency contraception.
Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You don't need an appointment – you can just walk in.
Most local pharmacies have consultation rooms for private conversations. Your pharmacist can also talk to you confidentially without anything being noted in your medical records, which some people may prefer.
Getting advice from a local pharmacist is the best first step for a minor health concern. But if you think you or your family member are more seriously ill, then a GP or hospital may be more appropriate.
You can download a list of local Pharmacies providing Pharmacy First Service here.