Each year millions of GP appointments are taken up with minor ailments that could have been dealt with by your local pharmacy. GP’s are severely overstretched and it’s important to only use an appointment when really necessary. Many thousands of appointments are also missed every year, costing the NHS a great deal of money and meaning time was lost when a patient who really needed an appointment could have used that time instead.
By using a pharmacy for your minor ailments, you are saving yourself time and effort too. There’s no need to wait for an appointment as you can just walk in and usually be seen straight away. This frees up your GP to deal with people whose current need is greater than yours. If you’re a GP looking for flexible working options, consider GP Locum Jobs at http://www.thegplocumagency.co.uk/
Pharmacists are trained to identify and treat a large number of common illnesses, as well as knowing a lot about medication! They are fully able to provide advice, suggest over-the-counter medicines which could clear up the problem without the need for a GP visit. They will always suggest you see a doctor if they think the problem is beyond the help of any over-the-counter medication.
Some regions of the UK are part of the Monir Ailments Scheme. This allows pharmacies to give medication free on the NHS and supply help and advice on how to take care of a minor ailment yourself. There are regional variations, so ask in your local pharmacy to see what’s available in your area.
For anyone who has exemption from prescription charges will be eligible for the scheme and there will be no charge for medicine supplied by the pharmacist. For those who pay for their prescriptions, there will still be a charge under this scheme.
If you want to know if your local pharmacy is part of the scheme, you can visit their website for more information. Visit the ‘departments and services’ tab on the website and look to see if it mentions the Minor ailment scheme or service.
Minor ailments that fall under the scheme include conditions like:
Skin conditions including psoriasis, athlete’s foot, eczema, impetigo and acne.
Sunburn, bruises and minor burns.
Common cold and coughs including congestion and sore throats.
Haemorrhoids and constipation.
Allergies, hay fever, rashes and stings/bites.
Aches such as earache, headache, back pain, toothache, neuralgia, period pain and migraine.
Cystitis complaints and thrush infections.
Heartburn, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Conjunctivitis and dry eye.
Cold sores and mouth ulcers, verrucas and warts.