NHS Pharmacy First Scotland will allow community pharmacies to give people expert help for treating conditions such as sore throats, earache and cold sores, along with common clinical conditions such as Urinary Tract Infections. Pharmacy teams will offer advice, treatment or referral to other healthcare teams if required.

The new provision replaces the existing minor ailments service, but unlike that service, which was restricted to certain groups, this one is available to everyone in Scotland.

Commenting, South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine says,

“This new initiative means everyone will now be able to access healthcare advice and treatment for minor conditions more quickly in their local community without having to wait for an appointment at their GP.

“Everyone who is registered with a GP practice in Scotland, or who lives in Scotland, is now encouraged to use their local pharmacy when they have a minor illness or common condition.

“Accident and Emergency departments remain open so in an emergency you should always call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department.”