Pharmacies can help with a range of common conditions such as aches and pains, cystitis, colds and skin rashes.
Your pharmacist can give advice and medicines, if appropriate. These medicines won't be on prescription, so you'll have to pay for them. Your pharmacist will also advise you if you need to see your GP.
You don’t need to make an appointment to see a pharmacist and you can talk to them in confidence, even about symptoms that are very personal. Many pharmacies now have a consultation room or area where you can have a conversation in private.
Pharmacy teams are increasingly supporting people to improve their health and wellbeing.
Pharmacists and their teams offer healthy lifestyle advice that covers topics such as healthy eating, physical activity, losing weight and stopping smoking, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, are a smoker, or are overweight.
Many pharmacies now offer a special discussion of your medicines called a Medicines Use Review (MUR).
If you regularly collect medicines from your pharmacy, the pharmacist may ask you how you've been getting on with them. If you're having problems, they can offer advice or, if necessary, advise you to see your GP.
You can ask for an MUR, or your pharmacist or GP might recommend one. They take place in a private consultation room in the pharmacy and you don't have to pay.
Always remember to tell your pharmacist if you are:
Many pharmacies offer a prescription collection and/or delivery service, where it will be collected from your GP and taken to your local pharmacy.
Some pharmacies help by delivering your prescription medicines to your home if you have problems collecting yourself.
You don’t always need to visit your GP to collect your prescription. Ask your GP practice whether you can order your repeat prescriptions on line and/or have them transmitted electronically straight to your nominated pharmacy.
Many community pharmacies now offer free NHS flu vaccination to adults at risk of flu including pregnant women, people aged 65 and over and people with long-term health conditions.
Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it's recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to protect them.
If your medicine is out of date, unwanted, or some of it is left over after you have stopped taking it, don't throw it away yourself. Instead, take it to your pharmacy to be disposed of safely. Never throw away medicine in the bin, burn it or flush it down the toilet, as this can harm the environment.