Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can help you with minor health concerns.

As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.

If symptoms suggest it's something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. For example they will tell you if you need to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.

All pharmacists train for 5 years in the use of medicines. They are also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.

Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment.

Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.

Help with your medicines

Pharmacists can answer your questions on prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

All pharmacies provide the following services:

  • dispensing of NHS prescriptions
  • access to the repeat prescription service (with agreement from your GP)
  • an emergency supply of medicine, subject to the decision of the pharmacist (you may need to pay for an emergency supply)
  • non-prescription medicines like paracetamol
  • disposal of unwanted or out-of-date medicines
  • advice on treating minor health concerns and healthy living

How we meet your needs

Each pharmacist will be different in how accessible they are.  Pharmacists need a clear picture of a person’s health problems, lifestyle and circumstances in order to be able to give helpful advice and information or to raise questions about prescribed medicines.  A health passport can be useful to share so that the pharmacist is aware of your needs beyond what is written in the ‘summary care record’.

There are lots of useful apps and web pages that can help:

  • Download the NHS APP to be able to order your medicines, nominate which pharmacy collects your prescriptions, see your medical records, see NHS health advice for hundreds of issues,  and even book appointments. When you attend any appointments you can use this app to show your regular medication list and allergies.
  • For support for caring for younger children with common symptoms of coughs and colds see