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Pharmacy First Service Posted or Updated on 6 Feb 2024

Patients can now get treatment for seven common conditions directly from their local pharmacy, without the need for a GP appointment or prescription.

The Pharmacy First scheme was launched by the government and NHS England on 31 January 2024 to give patients quick and accessible care and ease pressure on GP services.

But what does it cover and who will benefit? Here's everything you need to know.

What is Pharmacy First?

 Pharmacy First will enable community pharmacists to supply prescription-only medicines, including antibiotics and antivirals where clinically appropriate, to treat seven common health conditions without the need to visit a GP.

What are the seven common conditions?

  • Sinusitis (12 years and over)
  • Sore throat (5 years and over)
  • Earache (1 to 17 years)
  • Infected insect bite (1 year and over)
  • Impetigo (1 year and over)
  • Shingles(18 years and over)
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women (16 - 64 years)

How can I access treatment from my pharmacy?

You can get treatment for these conditions by walking into the pharmacy or contacting them virtually.  The practice receptionists will also be able to direct patients to pharmacies, that offer the service, if contacted.

Will I have to pay for my medication?

Usual prescription charges will apply for the seven common conditions. Patients that were already exempt from prescription charges will still be exempt.


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