Every year, millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that our local pharmacist could resolve.
It is estimated that every year, 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema, and athlete's foot. But by visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble.
Instead of booking and waiting for a GP appointment, you can visit your local pharmacist any time: just walk in.
All pharmacists can recognise many common health complaints. They can give advice or, where appropriate, medicines that will help to clear up the problem. If your problem is more serious and needs the attention of a GP, your pharmacist will recognise this and advise you to see your GP.
What’s more, many pharmacies are open in the evenings and on the weekends.
If everybody went to a pharmacist with common health problems, more time would be freed for our GPs. This might make it easier to get a convenient appointment with your GP next time you need one.
So if you have a common health problem, a trip to your pharmacy is an option.
What is the NHS Minor Ailment Service?
The Minor Ailment Service is an NHS service for children,
people aged 60 or over, people who hold a medical
exemption certificate and people on certain benefits.
When you are registered for the Minor Ailment Service,
your pharmacist can give you medicine for a minor illness
or complaint, if they think you need it. You will not have
to pay for this.
How does the service work?
You will be able to get advice and free treatment
(if you need it) from your pharmacist for minor illnesses and complaints such as:
Eczema and allergies sore throat
Haemorrhoids (piles) threadworms
Hay fever warts and verrucae
How do I register for the service?
The NHS Minor Ailment Service is available from
pharmacies across Scotland.
You can choose which pharmacy to register with.
You can register at any time – you don’t have to make an appointment. When you register, your pharmacist may ask you for some information, including your name, date of birth and postcode.
They will also check whether you can use the NHS Minor Ailment Service and may ask you for proof, for example your maternity or medical exemption certificate. Try to remember to bring this proof with you.
Your pharmacist will complete a form, which you must sign.
Your pharmacist will complete a separate form for each member of your family, including children under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education.
You can only register for the service with one pharmacy at a time. If you register with a new pharmacy, you will no longer be registered at the old pharmacy.
While you are registered for the service you can still make an appointment to see your doctor whenever you like.
Remember that even if you can’t use this free service, you can go to your pharmacist for advice or to buy a medicine for a minor illness or complaint.
The following is a list of useful medicines and dressings and a description of their uses. All are worth stocking at home in readiness for minor illnesses. Keep them in a box or cupboard with a lock, or store them well out of reach of children.
Remember - Your local Pharmacy can give advice about minor illnesses and medicine
To save them on your computer, right-click on any of the links below and then click 'Save Target As..." . Click on any of the links below to play the audio files:
Burns - Explains the immediate treatment for burns and scalds.
Fits - How to deal with fits (convulsions/seizures) in adults and young children.
Wounds - Immediate actions for wounds, bleeding, and bleeding associated with fractures.
Unconscious patient who is breathing - How to deal with an unrousable patient who IS breathing (includes recovery position)
CPR for adults - Adults who have collapsed, unrousable and NOT breathing.
CPR for babies - Babies who are unrousable and NOT breathing.
Collapsed patient in detail - Explains the complete scenario including checks for breathing, circulation, etc.
These files have been prepared by Sussex Ambulance Service and comply with European Resuscitation Council Guidelines.
British Red Cross - First Aid Tips Simple, straightforward and easy to understand first aid tips
BBC Health - First Aid This site has information about how to react to common injuries and emergencies.
St Johns Ambulance St John Ambulance believes that everyone should learn at least the basic first aid techniques.
Home First Aid Kit All you need to know about preparing and storing your own first aid kit
Acute diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and affects almost everyone from time to time.
NHS Choices Symptoms, causes, treatment and information
Patient UK Acute Diarrhoea in Adults
Back Pain Factsheet on the causes, symptoms, treatment & prevention of back pain.
NHS Choices NHS information on back pain
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