What is Care at the Chemist?

Care at the Chemist is a scheme that allows you to obtain medicines and advice for certain illnesses from your local pharmacy without having to go to your doctors first. If you do not pay for your prescriptions you will not have to pay for any medicines supplied through the scheme.

Who can use it?

Patients who are registered with a participating General Practitioner (GP). Ask your pharmacist if you can use the scheme.

What illnesses can be treated?

  • Athletes Foot
  • Cold Sores
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Constipation
  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Cough
  • Diarrhoea
  • Earache
  • Ear Wax removal
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Hay fever and Itch
  • Headache
  • Head Lice
  • Indigestion
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Oral Thrush
  • Scabies
  • Sore Throat
  • Stomach upset
  • Temperature
  • Toothache
  • Threadworms
  • Vaginal Thrush
  • Warts and Verrucas

How much does it cost?

If you do not pay for your prescriptions all medicines supplied through the scheme will be free of charge. If you usually pay for your prescriptions you will only pay for what the item costs or the appropriate NHS levy. We will advise you on a choice of levy or buying the item.

Will I be seen straight away?

The pharmacist will see you as soon as possible; you may have to wait if he/she is dealing with another customer, (this may mean that the pharmacist is in the dispensary checking a prescription). If the pharmacy is really busy the pharmacist may ask you to come back. If this happens you can still go and see your doctor if you feel your problem is urgent. You may also have to wait for your medicines, as the pharmacy staff will dispense items in the order that patients have been seen in.

Will I be able to have the medicines I want?

The pharmacist will ask you some questions and must be satisfied that there is a need for the medication and that it is suitable for you. The pharmacist may decide that you should see your doctor or give other advice without supplying any medicines. If you have the same problem several times then the pharmacist will refer you back to your doctor.

If I use the scheme does this stop me seeing my doctor?

No. Using the scheme does not prevent you from seeing your doctor, but using it for minor ailments can give the doctor more time to deal with patients with more serious illnesses. We will give you advice and where necessary refer you to your GP or local hospital.

You must not register for Care at the Chemist with more than one pharmacy.

You should use the same pharmacy each time you need medication, and you must take your registration card with you every time to show that you have registered with the scheme, so that a record of your treatment can be made. If your regular pharmacy is closed you may use another pharmacy but you must inform the pharmacy staff of which pharmacy you usually use. You can always change your pharmacy of choice, but can not register with more than one pharmacy at any one time.