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Pharmacy First

What is Pharmacy First?

The Pharmacy First scheme is an NHS initiative designed to offer professional healthcare advice and, treatment for seven common illnesses through your local pharmacy.¬†Patients can now see a pharmacist first and do not need a GP appointment or a prescription to get advice and treatment for sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bites, impetigo, shingles or an uncomplicated urinary tract infection in women. It’s easy, you can just walk in! You may also be referred by an NHS provider, like NHS 111, or your GP practice.

  • Treatment may be an over-the-counter medicine or prescription medication, depending on the clinical needs of the patient.
  • No appointment is needed.
  • Private consultation rooms are available for confidential discussions.

How Pharmacy First can help you

Pharmacy First provides easy access to prompt advice and treatment including prescription medicines, where appropriate, for seven common conditions. The common conditions covered are:

What are the symptoms of sinusitis? Sinusitis is the inflammation and swelling of the lining of the sinuses. Symptoms of sinusitis can vary in severity: common symptoms include a blocked nose, green or yellow mucus from the nose, pain and tenderness around the eyes, cheeks or forehead, a sinus headache, a fever (a high temperature of 38C or more), toothache, reduced sense of smell or bad breath (halitosis).

How Pharmacy First can help: A pharmacist can offer advice and treatment, including prescription treatment, for individuals 12 years and over where appropriate. Find out more here. 

What are the symptoms of a sore throat? A sore throat is very common and can cause irritation and pain when swallowing. Sore throats are usually caused by viruses like a cold or the flu, smoking or occasionally bacteria. Other symptoms of a sore throat may include: a dry scratchy throat, redness in the back of the mouth, bad breath, a mild cough, swollen and red tonsils and swollen glands in your neck.

How Pharmacy First can help: A pharmacist can offer advice and treatment, including prescription treatment for individuals aged 5 years & over where appropriate. Find out more here.

What are the symptoms of earache? Earaches are common, especially in children. It can be a burning, sharp or dull ear pain that either comes and goes or is constant. It can affect one ear or both.

How can Pharmacy First help? A pharmacist can offer advice and treatment which includes prescription treatment for individuals 1 – 17 years where appropriate. Find out more here.

What are the symptoms of an infected bite or sting? Experiencing a bite or sting from an insect is common and it is normal to experience some itching or pain when this happens, but occasionally a bite or sting can lead to an allergic reaction or infection. If you have an infected bite or sting you may have the following symptoms: redness of the skin, pain or tenderness and swelling with skin feeling hot to the touch.

How can Pharmacy First help? A pharmacist can offer advice and treatment which includes prescription treatment for individuals aged 1 year and over, where appropriate. Find out more here.

What are the symptoms of impetigo? Impetigo is a contagious skin infection which usually begins as red sores or blisters, (it can be harder to see on brown or black skin). It normally appears on exposed areas of skin like your hands or around the mouth and nose. Eventually, these sores will burst, leaving crusty, golden-brown patches. These patches may get bigger, spread to other parts of the body, become itchy or mildly painful.

How can Pharmacy First help? A pharmacist can offer advice and treatment for individuals aged 1 and over where appropriate. Find out more here.

What are the symptoms of shingles? Shingles occur when a nerve becomes infected, causing a painful rash on the skin around it. Symptoms of shingles include pain in the affected area, folowed by a rash that develops later. The rash will only appear on one side of your body, if there is a rash on both sides it is unlikely to be shingles. The rash may develop into itchy blisters that may ooze fluid. New blisters can appear for up to a week.

How Pharmacy First can help? A pharmacist can offer advice and treatment including prescription treatment for individuals aged 18 and over, where appropriate. Find out more here.

What are the symptoms of cystitis? Cystitis is a common urinary tract infection (UTI), where the bladder becomes inflamed. Symptoms of cystitis can show suddenly and include stinging or burning when you pee, peeing more urgently and frequently, your urine being a darker or cloudy colour, or urine having a strong smell. Cystitis may cause tummy pain and make you feel generally unwell.

How Pharmacy First can help? A pharmacist can offer advice and treatment, including prescription treatment for women aged 16-64, where appropriate. For catheter wearers please contact your GP if you suspect you have a UTI. Find out more here.