Your local pharmacy should always be your first choice for help, advice and treatment for common conditions.
If you or your family become unwell, you may not always need to see a doctor or get a prescription. Local pharmacies offer many of the same services local GPs do.
Community pharmacists are qualified health professionals who can offer expert advice on lots of minor ailments and conditions. They can help you with common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as perform health checks and screenings and treat minor injuries and ailments.
What common conditions can a pharmacist help with?
Other benefits from your pharmacy
- You don’t need to make an appointment to see your pharmacist
- Your local pharmacy will have a consultation room allowing for privacy
- By visiting a pharmacist first, it helps to make more GP and emergency appointments available for people with more complex healthcare needs.
- Many illnesses can be treated with over-the-counter medicines and advice from your pharmacy
- A pharmacist will signpost you quickly to the right medical care if you have anything more serious
- A pharmacist can advise on how long you can expect to experience symptoms for
Pharmacists across the Black Country and West Birmingham have played a significant role in the COVID-19 pandemic response. In addition to supporting flu vaccinations, some have and continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines as part of the Covid vaccination programme.
Some of you may well have had your winter vaccinations from a pharmacist. As well as in their own premises, some pharmacy teams have been working out of community settings such as community centres, mosques and in churches to make sure they reach as many people as possible.
Anyone who still needs to get a vaccine, whether it’s a first, second or booster dose can book or walk-in to over 80 local pharmacies, click here to find your nearest walk-in site, alternatively you can book a vaccine appointment here
Many common conditions can be treated at home with the support of your local pharmacy if needed. Over the counter products for self-care are things like pain relief, hay fever medication and cough and cold remedies. These items can be bought from pharmacies and supermarkets without a prescription. They are also often cheaper this way. You can get them without an appointment or seeing a doctor.
An important part of self-care is making sure you are equipped to look after you and your family. You can do this by ensuring you have a medicine cabinet fully stocked with essential medicines and products.
Visit our self-care board here - it identifies a range of common ailments and conditions that can be treated at home.
To support self-care at home, keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet with essential medicines and products such as:
painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
oral rehydration salts
first aid kit including plasters, bandages and a thermometer.
Don’t keep or use medicines after their expiry date. Take them to your local community pharmacy where they can be disposed of safely.
Some pharmacies offer late-night and 24-hour opening.
If your symptoms do not improve after visiting your pharmacy, or you start to feel a lot worse, contact your GP, call 111 or go online to 111.nhs.uk. A&E and 999 should only be used for life threatening emergencies.
Some patients accessing NHS111 will be referred for an appointment with a community pharmacist depending on their need. GP practices are also refering patients to community pharmacists for minor conditions.