Ask Your Pharmacy First

People in Forth Valley can now get expert advice and treatment for minor illnesses and common conditions by visiting one of the area’s 75 community pharmacies. The new free service, NHS Pharmacy First Scotland, is available to anyone and a member of the pharmacy team will carry out a consultation either over the counter or in a private consultation room.

Help is available for conditions such as sore throats, earache and cold sores along with common health conditions such as urinary tract infections and impetigo. Pharmacists in Forth Valley are also able to provide advice and treatment, where appropriate, for a wide range of skin conditions and skin infections.

Kirstin Cassells from NHS Forth Valley’s Community Pharmacy Development Team explained: “This new service will help people access healthcare and advice without having to go to their GP practice or Emergency Department for non-urgent treatment. During the current pandemic people have been following public health guidance closely and have been using their local pharmacy for medical advice and help.”

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “This service gives access to the right care in the right place, getting medical support that is closer to home and often with no waiting time or appointments needed.

“While the NHS is there for all of us, we don’t all need to go to Accident and Emergency. For many of us, it is not the right place for the care we need. NHS Pharmacy First Scotland provides a local service, giving local access to healthcare help for many illnesses.

“In an emergency you should always call 999 or go to your nearest Accident & Emergency department. By continuing to do what we have been doing throughout this pandemic and accessing the right care in the right place, we continue to help our emergency teams and provide the fastest and often lifesaving care for people when they really need it.”

Pharmacists will ask patients for their name, date of birth and postcode. In most cases there is no need to make an appointment. Medication will be provided if needed or the pharmacist could refer the patient to another healthcare professional, for example their GP, if they think this is necessary. A Patient Medication Record will be set up to make note of any advice and treatment which is given.

More information on NHS Pharmacy First Scotland is available on NHS Inform.