Pharmacy (Common Ailment Service)

What is the Common Ailments Service?

Local pharmacies offer free advice and treatment for the conditions listed below. Patients suffering with other conditions will not be able to access the Common Ailments Service. They may however receive advice from the pharmacist and the option to buy medicines over the counter. If a pharmacist feels that the patient needs to be seen by the GP they will refer appropriately. There are restrictions in place for how often certain conditions can be treated under Choose Pharmacy, the Pharmacist will direct such cases back to the GP accordingly.

Who can use the service?

Patients can self-present at the pharmacy if they are registered with a GP in Wales.

Who can’t use the service?

Exclusions are:

  • Patients temporarily residing in Wales but usually registered outside of Wales.
  • Care Home residents are excluded from the service.

What we can/ can’t help with:

Condition Suitable for Pharmacist Offer GP Appointment instead
Acne Patients over 12 years Severe or infected acne
Athlete’s Foot All patients Patients with poorly controlled diabetes or immunocompromised
(acute episode)
Patients aged 20-50 years Patients with severe/systemic symptoms/ over 50 years /Chronic episode
Chicken Pox Patients 4 weeks- 14 years Children who are systemically unwell (e.g. superimposed infection, dehydration)
Conjunctivitis (bacterial) Patients over 2 years Pregnant/breastfeeding women; Contact lens wearers

Visual disturbance / pain – refer to Community Optometrist

Constipation Patients over 18 years Rectal bleeding, unexplained weight loss, co-existing diarrhoea
Dry Skin All patients without sign of infection Patients who have failed to respond to treatment or have symptoms indicative of infection
Dry Eyes All patients Refer all to Community Optometrist
Haemorrhoids Patients aged over 18 Pregnant women, unexplained weight loss, suspected infection, painful lumps, abdominal pain
Hay Fever Patients over 2 years old Pregnant/breastfeeding women
Head Lice All patients (Comb supplied first instance) Lotion will only be supplied if patient has wet combed for 14 days
Indigestion and reflux Patients over 18 years Pain on exertion, taking NSAIDs, Aged >55 with persistent symptoms, shortness of breath, unintentional weight loss
Intertrigo (sweat rash, skin fold rash) All patients Patients with recurrent symptoms or have symptoms indicative of infection. Immunocompromised patients, uncontrolled diabetes
Ringworm All patients Children who are systemically unwell or have symptoms of infection
Nappy Rash All patients without sign of infection Patients with poorly controlled diabetes / immunosuppressed patients
Oral Thrush Patients over 4 weeks Patients with a severe rash, secondary infection, or those who are systemically unwell
Scabies Patients over 2 years Patients who are systemically unwell / persistent symptoms/ immunocompromised/ recurrent tonsillitis
Sore throat and tonsillitis All patients Children who are systemically unwell /diarrhoea
Teething Patients over 3 months Pregnant / breastfeeding women
Threadworms Patients over 6 months Patients with poorly controlled diabetes Pregnant/breastfeeding women
Vaginal Thrush Patients aged 16-60 years Patients with diabetes and patients with multiple lesions / immunocompromised/ large areas affected.
Warts and Verrucas Patients over 2 years

What to expect

To use this service you must register with the pharmacy of your choice. You can register at any pharmacy and can choose to move to another pharmacy at any time if you need to use the service again.

You will have a private consultation with the pharmacist in the pharmacy consultation room, this will usually take between 5 and 10 minutes.

You do not need to make an appointment but you may need to wait to see the pharmacist at busy times.

Your doctor (GP) will be sent information about the advice and treatment you have received.

How to access the service?

Due to COVID-19 please telephone your local pharmacy first to find out if you are able to use the service.

Where can I find more information?

Choose Pharmacy


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