What is a pharmacy?
Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can help you with minor health concerns. If symptoms suggest it's something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. For example they will tell you if you need to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.
If you’re suffering from a cold, cuts and grazes or minor illnesses, your pharmacist will offer you remedies so you don’t have to see a GP or nurse.
Your GP may want you to take medicines and will write you a prescription. Take your prescription to your local dispensary. You can visit NHS Choices to find your local pharmacy: http://www.nhs.uk/ServiceSearch/Pharmacy/LocationSearch/10 or ask for advice at your GP surgery.
The pharmacist can also give free advice on treating minor health problems, such as colds and coughs. You can buy some medicines from the pharmacy without a prescription, including some painkillers and cough medicines however you will have to pay for these medicines. You may be charged for prescription medicines. Some patients will already be on medicines they will need a prescription to get them.
Check your Medicine Cabinet
You can help prevent a minor illness from developing into something worse by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
Many over-the-counter medicines (including paracetamol and ibuprofen) are available to relieve symptoms of common winter ailments such as colds, sinusitis or painful middle ear infection (earache). Speak to your pharmacist about what medicines should be in your cabinet to help get you and your family through the winter season.
Make sure your medicine cabinet has essentials like painkillers and cold and flu remedies to help see you through any closures.
For more information search ‘medicine cabinet’ on www.nhs.uk