It’s the health service that’s carried out two million consultations since launching last year. And COULD save you a trip to the GP.
And, this week, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf MSP hailed the success of NHS Pharmacy First service saying it’s a “prime example of getting the right care in the right place at the right time.”
But do you know where there’s one near you, if you’re eligible to use it and what you can get help for?
We’re answering your questions.
What is it?
NHS Pharmacy First is a network of community pharmacies which could save you going to your GP or, in some cases, A&E.
A pharmacist, or a member of the pharmacy team, can give you advice and treatment (if you need it) for various minor illnesses and common clinical conditions.
They’ll ask you for information including your name, age and date of birth.
And in most cases:
- You won’t need an appointment.
- You can choose which pharmacy you go to.
- You can ask to use the pharmacy’s consultation area or room if you want to speak to the pharmacist in private.
If the pharmacist thinks it is better for you to see your GP, they may refer you directly or tell you to make an appointment.
Who is eligible for Pharmacy First?
You can use NHS Pharmacy First Scotland if you are registered with a GP practice.
You can speak to the pharmacy team near you if you need more details.
If you need to, you can find also out how to register with a GP practice in Scotland.
Where can I find one near me?
NHS Inform has a special section where you can search for pharmacies near you.
You can search by place or postcode – for example, you can search for a list of those available in Dundee along with services offered.
What does Pharmacy First cover?
There’s a list of conditions they can give help for including common ailments and non-emergencies including:
- Blocked or runny nose.
- Sore throat.
- Urinary tract infections (UTI’s).
A full list can be found here.
Do I have to pay?
Pharmacists, like GPs, can only provide certain medicines and products on the NHS.
If you want a specific medicine or product, you may need to buy it. The pharmacist will give you advice on this.
Some pharmacists have an additional prescribing qualification which allows them to prescribe a wider range of medicines, normally only available from your GP practice.
Can I go to the pharmacy if I have Covid?
If you’ve tested positive for Covid you must self-isolate for at least 10 days.
You should remain in isolation until 10 days from symptom onset, or longer if they persist.
If you have any of the three main symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss/change to your sense of smell or taste), you should also self-isolate and book a PCR test.