Pharmacy First for Minor Conditions

The Minor Ailments Scheme has been renamed "Pharmacy First for Minor Conditions".

Pharmacists can help recognise and treat many common illnesses. They can give advice and where appropriate, recommend over-the-counter medicines that could help clear up the problem.

If they think you need to see a GP for your illness, they will advise you to do that.

Visiting your pharmacy about common health problems frees up time for GPs and A&E departments, which are already stretched, especially during the winter months.

The "Pharmacy First for Minor Conditions" cannot treat:

  • Pregnant patients
  • Those who have tried an OTC treatment which have not worked
  • Immunocompromised patients

What minor illnesses are covered?

Illnesses supported within the scheme may differ between locations. Some illnesses covered include:

  • Acne Vulgaris
  • Athlete's foot
  • Diarrhoea
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Head lice
  • Groin area infection
  • Threadworms
  • Vaginal Thrush
  • Ear wax
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Oral Thrush
  • Verrucae
  • Scabies

Please see medication list provide by this scheme :Minor ailments list

Local pharmacies also provide a free smoking cessation service with nicotine replacement therapy and support.

Patients requesting treatment for the conditions below can be advised to go to the pharmacy for free advice (and treatment if deemed appropriate) on the Minor Ailments Scheme.

Condition Who CANNOT be treated on Minor Ailments
Mouth ulcers Diabetics
Under 12 years (can recommend a product to buy)
Lasting more than 3 weeks
First occurence over 30 years old
Oral thrush Under 4 months
Athletes foot Diabetics
Children under 16 years old
Groin/jock itch Diabetics
Diarrhoea Diabetics
Duration of 2+ days in children under 3 and elderly
Duration of 3+ days in other patients
<1yr olds
Vaginal thrush Under 16 or over 60 years old (or post-menopausal)
1st time sufferer or recurrent infection
Threadworms Under 2 years old
Head lice Children under 6 months old
Ear Wax Perforated eardrum
Past history of ear surgery
Presence of foreign body in the ear canal
Acne Vulgaris <12 years old
Severe acne (significant inflammation/pustules/scarring)
Haemorrhoids <16 years old
Scabies <2 years old
>65 years old

<2 years old
Patients with impaired peripheral blood circulation