Pharmacy first aims to improve patient access to GP appointments by encouraging patients with certain minor ailments to use the pharmacy for treatment rather than making an appointment at the surgery.
This will relieve the pressure on current appointment schedules and allow those patients with more urgent or serious needs to see the GP sooner. The scheme covers the whole of the NHS Nottingham City area including community pharmacies and all GP practices.
Patients can self-refer to any NHS Nottingham City community pharmacy or referral can be made by the GP or practice staff or by any other healthcare professional.
What minor ailments can be treated at the pharmacy?
Who can use Pharmacy First?
- Patients must be registered with an NHS Nottingham City GP.
- The scheme treats patients over three months old with no upper age limit. Children under three months should always be treated by their doctor.
- The scheme includes all children up to 16 years old.
- Patients should be exempt from prescription charges.
- The patient should always be present at the consultation in the pharmacy.
- Medicines will not be provided for the ‘store cupboard’ or ‘just in case’.
- The pharmacist may not always provide medicines.
- Any treatment or medicines provided will always follow the guidance laid down in the agreed protocols.
- Pharmacists can only provide medicines that are listed in the agreed formulary under the Pharmacy First scheme.
- Patients who are referred to their GP by the pharmacist do not automatically ‘jump the queue’. They should receive an appointment in line with the practice’s reception protocols.
Do I need to make an appointment to use the scheme?
No. It is possible to walk into any community pharmacy (chemist’s shop) and ask to join the Pharmacy First scheme. You will then be able to have a consultation with the pharmacist if necessary. Most pharmacies have consultation areas you can use to provide privacy.
Why do I have to bring my ill child to the pharmacy to receive treatment?
The scheme is intended for patient with minor ailments. If your child is not well enough to attend the pharmacy then it is advisable to seek advice from your surgery.
If the patient is not present at the pharmacy the pharmacist is unable to supply any treatment under the Pharmacy First scheme.
Medicines will not be provided for the store cupboard, or ‘just in case’. Only patients who present at the pharmacy with existing symptoms will be treated.