What is the NHS Minor Ailments Service?
If you don't pay for prescriptions you may be able to receive advice and be given a medicine for a range of minor ailments, free of charge, on the NHS, without having to visit your doctor first. Minor ailments could include coughs, colds, headaches, hay fever, insect bites and stings, eczema, earache and diarrhoea.
Pharmacists (chemists) are a great source of health advice and information:
- they are experts in medicines and how medicines work
- they can help you decide if you need to see a doctor
- they can give you advice about how you can treat and look after yourself.
They can help with:
medicines – dispensing them, telling you how to use them safely, advising you on alternatives, undertaking a medicines review and providing a safe place where you can get rid of old or out of date medicine
contraception – emergency hormonal contraception, or ‘the morning after pill’, is available from your local pharmacist
minor ailments – many treatments are available for a range of minor ailments without needing to see your doctor. You should see your pharmacist for advice on the following symptoms:
acute pain, earache, headache or temperature; sore throat; cough; cold sores; athlete’s foot; colds, flu-like symptoms or nasal congestion; conjunctivitis; constipation; cystitis; dermatitis, dry skin or an allergic-type skin rash; diarrhoea; head lice; haemorrhoids; heartburn or indigestion; infant colic; mouth ulcers; nappy rash; oral thrush; scabies; sprains and strains; teething; threadworms; vaginal thrush; hay fever ; and bites and stings.
advice on your health – pharmacists can also help with quitting smoking, tests for Chlamydia
You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence – even about the most personal symptoms – and you don’t need to make an appointment.
The link below will tell you which pharmacies are participating in the MINOR AILMENT SCHEME.