Pharmacy First

What is Pharmacy First?

The Pharmacy First scheme provides professional health care advice, treatments, and medicines for common illnesses from your local pharmacy, without the need for an appointment.


  • Pharmacists are highly qualified health care professionals who are experts in medicines. They can give the same advice and treatment for common illnesses as the GP.
  • Pharmacies are open during normal business hours and many are open late, on Saturdays and on Sundays.
  • It may be quicker to see your pharmacist than wait for a GP appointment
  • You don’t need an appointment
  • Medicines offered are free of charge if you are normally exempt from prescription charges. If you usually pay for prescription charges, you can still receive advice and can pay the cost of any medicine issued or the standard prescription charge, whatever is cheaper.
  • Anything you say to the pharmacist is treated with confidence

How Does it Work?

If you are feeling unwell and may have any of the common illnesses listed below, you can access Pharmacy First in two ways:

You can present yourself to your local participating pharmacy. You will be seen by a pharmacist and can ask for a private consultation

Your GP practice or health care services may signpost you to a participating pharmacy.

Your local participating pharmacist will explain the service to you and ask you for some details including your name, date of birth, postcode, and GP practice to register for the service.

If you choose not to register; you can still receive free confidential professional health care advice but will not be able to obtain any medication for free (if normally prescription charge exempt) or at a reduced price under the scheme.


Urine Infection


Female adults aged 16-64

  • Male
  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Immunosupressed
  • Urinary catheter
  • Repeat UTI - 2 episodes in 6 months/3 in 12 months
  • Raised temperature, fever or chills in past 48 hours
Ear Infections

Children aged 1-17

  • Immunodeficient/Immunosuppressed
  • Recurrent - 3+ episodes in 6 months or 4+ in 12 months


Children aged 12+

  • Severely immunosuppressed
  • Chronic - lasting 12+ weeks

Sore throat


Children aged 5+

  • Severely immunosuppressed

Infected insect bites


Children aged 1+

  • Human or animal bites
  • Bite occurred outside of the UK or from an exotic insect



Children aged 1+

  • Breastfeeding with impetigo lesion(s) on the breast
  • Recurrent - 2+ episodes in same year


Adults aged 18+
  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding with shingles sore(s) on the breast
  • Rash onset over 7 days ago