What is NHS Pharmacy First Scotland?
- NHS Pharmacy First Scotland is an NHS service provided by your local community pharmacy (a pharmacy with a contract to provide NHS prescriptions and services).
- If you have a minor illness, a pharmacy is the first place you should go for advice.
- You do not usually need an appointment and you can go to any pharmacy.
- Your pharmacist can give you advice for a minor illness, and medicine if they think you need it.
Who is the service for?
You can use NHS Pharmacy First Scotland if you are registered with a GP practice in Scotland or you live in Scotland. Speak to the pharmacy team if you need further details.
How does the service work?
- Pharmacists and their teams are experts in medicines and can help with minor health concerns.
- A pharmacist can give you advice and treatment (if you need it) for minor illnesses such as the following.
- Athlete’s foot
- Blocked or runny nose
- Cold sores
- Cystitis (in women)
- Head lice
- Haemorrhoids (piles)
- Hay fever
- Mouth ulcers
- Sore throat
- Period pain
- Pharmacists, like GPs, can only provide certain medicines and products on the NHS. All of these are proven to be effective for treating your condition. If you want a specific medicine or product, you may need to buy it. The pharmacist will give you advice on this.
- 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.
How do I use the service?
- NHS Pharmacy First Scotland is available from all pharmacies in Scotland that dispense NHS prescriptions.
- You can choose which pharmacy to use.
- In most cases, you don’t have to make an appointment.
- When you visit the pharmacy, the pharmacist (or one of their team) will ask you for some information, including your name, date of birth and postcode.
- The pharmacist will:
- ask you about your symptoms;
- give you advice on your condition;
- provide medication (if you need it); and
- refer you to another healthcare professional (for example, your GP) if they think this is necessary.
- They will set up a Patient Medication Record (PMR) to make a note of any advice and treatment they give you.
- You can ask to use the pharmacy’s consultation area or room if you want to speak to the pharmacist in private.
Can I still go to other pharmacies?
- Yes, you can go to any pharmacy to buy medicines, collect prescriptions or use the NHS Pharmacy First Scotland service. You don’t need to always use the same one.
- However, if you always use the same pharmacy, the pharmacist can build a record of your treatment, which may help you to manage your condition more effectively. (This record is not shared with anyone else.)