These Are The Illnesses You Can Now Go Straight To The Pharmacist For

The Prime Minister has said this should help patients get the care they need more quickly.

As of today, huge changes are happening for NHS patients in England as a new service has been introduced which means that there are seven common ailments that you’ll no longer need to see your doctor for and instead, can go directly to the pharmacist for advice and treatment.

According to the NHS, over 10,000 pharmacists have signed up to this ‘Pharmacy First’ scheme that the NHS has stated “alongside expansions to the pharmacy blood pressure checking and contraception services, will save up to 10 million general practice team appointments a year and help patients access quicker and more convenient care.”

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that this will help avoid the 8am rush for a doctor’s appointment and added, “We’re cutting NHS waiting lists and helping patients get the care they need more quickly.”

If this scheme is successful, it’ll make a huge difference to not only patients but doctors and nurses, too. Junior Doctor Todd Leckie said to Fund The NHS about the ongoing crisis, “That’s a very difficult thing to have to deal with – when you don’t think you can deliver the care you would want your parents or your relatives to receive.”

The service was introduced in Scotland in 2020, Northern Ireland in 2005, and a similar service named ‘Choose Pharmacy’ was introduced in Wales in 2013.

The conditions you can now go straight to the pharmacist for


If you experience the symptoms of sinusitis which include pain, swelling and tenderness around the cheeks, eyes and forehead, green or yellow mucus from the nose, a sinus headache or green and yellow mucus, you can now go straight to the pharmacist for the treatment that you need.

Sore throat

If you are experiencing a sore throat, you can now go straight to your pharmacist who can help with pain relief and easing escalated symptoms like swollen neck glands, a mild cough and swollen neck glands.

Middle ear infection (Otitis Media)

Most commonly found in infants between the ages of 6 and 15 months, middle ear infections cause earache, fever, sickness, a lack of energy and slight hearing loss.

Infected insect bites

As if getting bitten wasn’t bad enough, if the wound becomes red, swollen, and oozing pus, you may have an infected insect bite. It’s not pretty but your pharmacist can help you to soothe it.


Impetigo is a skin condition that is contagious but not usually serious and is very common in young children. The condition starts with red sores and blisters but they quickly burst and leave crusty, golden-brown patches that the NHS says look a bit like cornflakes stuck to the skin. If you or your child develops these, the pharmacist can help ease discomfort and pain.


Shingles is an infection that leads to a painful rash often on the chest and tummy but it can spread anywhere. If you feel a tingling or painful sensations in an area of skin as well as a headache and feeling unwell, you could be experiencing early symptoms of shingles. After a few days, you’ll likely develop a rash in the form of blotches on the skin, on one side of the body only. See your pharmacist for treatment.

Uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women under 65

If you are under 65 and experiencing pain on urination, frequent urination, inability to start a urine stream, sudden onset of the need to urinate, pain in the lower abdomen, bladder spasms or blood in the urine, speak to your pharmacist for care.