Pharmacy First

Make the most of your local Pharmacy

Feeling unwell? Don’t wait – get advice from your nearest pharmacist

 At the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist, before it gets more serious. Act quickly.

The sooner you get advice from a pharmacist the better. Pharmacists are fully quali ed to advise you on the best course of action.

This can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and get back to normal.


If you can’t get to a pharmacist yourself, ask someone to go for you or call your local pharmacy.  

Did you know?

In an emergency  you can get an emergency supply from the chemist without having a prescription.

If you are going to run out of your regular pills before the GP practice can give you another prescription.

A pharmacist can supply prescription only medicines (POM) to a patient (who has previously been prescribed the requested POM) without a prescription at the request of the patient under the provisions and requirements of Regulations 225, 253 and Schedules 18 and 23 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (HMR).

What can people expect now from their local pharmacy?

Members of the public can already access local community pharmacies for self-care advice as part of the essential services that a pharmacy provides. This includes advice about self-limiting illness and injury, such as advice about pain relief, constipation, indigestion, hay fever, colds and flu, bites and stings. Community pharmacy staff will signpost patients and the public to other local health and care services where appropriate, supporting patients and their carers to navigate the urgent care system.

It also includes urgent advice about ongoing treatment for long term conditions. For example, what to do if a dose is missed or two doses are taken by mistake and which over the counter treatments may interact with a patient’s long term medicine or what to do if the person is pregnant or breast feeding.


We all know that pharmacists dispense medicines. But they do a lot more than that.

Did you know, for example, that pharmacies can help with stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol, advice on safe sex and emergency contraception?

Lots of pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You don’t need an appointment – you can just walk in.

Your pharmacist can also talk to you confidentially without anything being noted in your medical records, which some people may prefer.

If you are prescribed an anticoagulant (a blood-thinning medicine) or a medicine to treat asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure for the first time, you can get extra help and advice about your medicine from your local pharmacist through a free scheme called the New Medicine Service (NMS).

Learn more about the New Medicine Service.


Pharmacists can help you with your medicines

Pharmacists are trained experts in using medicines safely. They can advise you on the safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.


Help with healthier living

Pharmacy teams can help you look after your own and your family’s health without having to go to the GP all the time.

They offer healthy lifestyle advice that covers things like healthy eating, physical activitylosing weight and stopping smoking, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, are a smoker, or are overweight.

If you have a serious long-term condition, such as diabetes, you’ll still need regular reviews with your GP or specialist.

Medicines Use Review (MUR)


Lots of pharmacies now offer a detailed consultation about your medicines called a Medicines Use Review (MUR).

An MUR is especially useful for people who are taking several medicines.

You can talk about what you’re taking, when you should be taking it, and any side effects you might be concerned about.

You should also tell your pharmacist if you are taking any over-the counter medicines or any herbal remedies. They can advise you whether these can be taken at the same time or not.

If you’re having problems, your pharmacist 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 are done in a private consultation room in the pharmacy and you don’t have to pay.

Afterwards, you’ll be given a written record of the consultation. A copy will be sent to your GP.