FROM today (Wednesday, January 31), patients registered with a Somerset GP can pop into a local pharmacy for help with seven minor conditions that would previously have required a doctor's appointment.

At the pharmacy, patients will be able to have a private consultation about their condition, be offered clinical advice and, if needed, will be offered NHS medicines.

NHS prescription charge apply if you normally pay for medicines supplied on prescription.

The seven conditions are:

  • sinusitis (children over 12 years and adults);
  • sore throat (children over five and adults);
  • earache (children one to 17);
  • infected insect bites (children over one and adults);
  • impetigo (children over one and adults);
  • shingles (over 18s);
  • urinary tract infections (women 16 to 65).

Chard & Ilminster News:

As experts in medicines and managing minor illnesses, community pharmacists have the skills and knowledge to offer advice and help.

Should the pharmacy team be unable to help, you will be directed to your GP surgery or A&E as appropriate.


Michael Lennox, chief executive of Community Pharmacy Somerset, said: "By thinking ‘Pharmacy First’, people in Somerset will find it easier and quicker to get the help they need for seven common minor conditions and bypass the 8am rush to book an appointment with their GP.”

The new service will give people more choice in where and how they access care.

Pharmacy First in Somerset is likely to free up thousands of GP appointments every year, for patients who would previously have needed to see their GP.

For more information about Pharmacy First in Somerset visit