In May 2023, NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care announced that patients who need prescription medication may be able to get it directly from a pharmacy.

Patients can do this without a GP appointment, for seven common conditions including earache, sore throat, or urinary tract infections.

The FAQs below provides more information about the scheme.

What is the new scheme?

Many pharmacies in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight can now see and possibly treat people with seven common minor illnesses. 

What are the seven minor illnesses?

Along with minor illness advice and over the counter medicines, pharmacies will now be able to treat the following seven conditions:

  • Shingles - 18 years and over
  • Sore throat - 5 years and over
  • Infected insect bites - 1 year and over
  • Earaches in children 1 to 17 years 
  • Sinusitis - 12 years and over
  • Impetigo - 1 year and over
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) in women 16 to 64 years

In some cases, those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, immunocompromised or who have recurring problems may not be eligible for treatment at a pharmacy.

How does it work?

This scheme builds on the great work pharmacies already do in our community to support managing minor illnesses at home. 

For these seven health conditions, pharmacists will have a private conversation with a patient to see if they can help them manage their condition through self-care. If this may not be helping then in some cases the pharmacist will be able to provide medicines to help treat the illness if appropriate following consultation.

How does this help me?

This is great for patients as it means they can potentially get seen and treated in a local pharmacy without the need to make an appointment with a GP practice. 

It also frees up GP practice appointments so surgeries can focus on managing patients with more complex health needs. 

How soon can I use the service?

The scheme launched on 31 January 2024 and it may take a few weeks for the service to settle in and start up. The pharmacy you visit will be able to best advise on how they can help.

How else can a pharmacy help me? 

People will be familiar with seeing their local pharmacy on the high street or in the supermarket. They can offer confidential advice and offer over-the-counter medicines to help you manage health concerns such as coughs and colds. They can also support with healthy eating, exercise, stopping smoking, monitoring your blood pressure, contraception, flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.

You might also be interested in...