Promotional NHS sign on a pharmacy counter

Minor Ailment Scheme

What is the minor ailment scheme?

Every year, millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that a local pharmacy could help with. By visiting your pharmacy instead of your GP, you could save yourself time and hassle, while lowing pressure on your GP so they can deal with other, more serious, appointments.

The minor ailment scheme is an NHS funded scheme that aims to diagnose common ailments and provide free, effective treatment without medical intervention. Participating pharmacies will attempt to provide you with the medicine and care you need, but this is restricted by the nature of your Ailment and the policy in place at each respected pharmacy.

Who is the minor ailment scheme aimed at?

The scheme is aimed at those in need or those who cannot afford to spend large amounts of money for medication or treatment. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Children aged under 16.
  • Those aged 19 or under in full-time education.
  • Those aged 60 or over.
  • Those in possession of a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC).
  • Other such medical exemption certification.
  • Those with certain benefits – income support, jobseeker’s allowance, universal credit.

What medical conditions are covered by the minor ailment scheme?

The minor ailment scheme is designed to cover a host of medical conditions, but due to the varying locations and methods of conditions, some ailments aren’t covered by the scheme. The ones listed are examples and vary by location:

  • Backache
  • Limb sprains
  • Colds
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Indigestion and heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Coughs
  • Fever
  • Fungal infections on the skin, like verrucas and warts
  • Diarrhoea
  • Earache
  • Hayfever
  • Head lice
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nappy rash
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Eczema and dermatitis
  • Teething
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Childhood impetigo
  • Emergency hormonal contraception
  • Eye infections

Our pharmacists can help recognise and treat many common illnesses. We can give advice and recommend over-the-counter medicines that could help clear up the problem.