Information on when to use a pharmacy, rather than your local doctor (GP), Walk In Centre or the Accident and Emergency Department at the hospital (A&E).
If you’d like to discuss a health problem you can get free, confidential advice and treatment quickly at your local pharmacy. Many pharmacies are open late and at weekends too, which can be very useful if you need advice when your GP surgery is closed.
Pharmacists dispense both prescription and non-prescription medicines. They can give you advice about how to use your medicines and highlight any possible side effects. If you have a long-term health condition, your pharmacist can also help you to manage your medicines and your condition, and if needed they can collect routine prescriptions from your GP too.
If you don’t pay for your prescriptions, local pharmacies offer the Care at the Chemist scheme, which provides free medicines for certain common illnesses that affect you or your child.
You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence, even about the most personal symptoms, and you don’t need to make an appointment. You can just walk into any pharmacy and ask to speak with the pharmacist, it’s that easy. They could be able to spend time with you straight away or be able to offer you an appointment.
If you’d like a bit of privacy, most pharmacies have a private consultation area where you can talk without being overheard by anyone. You can choose to speak to the pharmacist in person, or over the phone, whichever suits your needs best.