Pharmacy First Scotland service offers convenient treatment for minor illnesses in the community

29 Jul 2020

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced this week a new pharmacy service which lets people go to their community pharmacy first for support and NHS treatment for minor illnesses and common conditions, rather than attend the GP or A&E.

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland will allow community pharmacies to give people expert help for treating conditions such as sore throats, earache and cold sores, along with common clinical conditions such as Urinary Tract Infections. Pharmacy teams will offer advice, treatment (from a formulary of medicines) or referral to other healthcare teams if required.

Ms Sturgeon said the best place for patients to go to in the first instance for care is the community pharmacist.

“Pharmacists can help people with minor conditions – such as sore throats, earache and cold sores. They can also help with common clinical conditions such as Urinary Tract Infections, for which prescribed medicine is often required”.

She added: “Pharmacy First Scotland is yet another demonstration of the importance and value of the work done by pharmacists across the country. Community pharmacies have been open throughout the pandemic so far, and I know that their staff have worked immensely hard during this whole period.

“The new service being launched today shows their ongoing commitment to the health and wellbeing of people in their community and I am grateful to all of them for their efforts.”

Janice Oman, NPA’s Scotland Representation Manager said: “We are delighted that First Minister recognises the role community pharmacies play in helping patients and the wider NHS team by ensuring people get the right care in the right place. This service improves access to NHS care, reduces pressure on GPs and reinforces community pharmacy’s place as a key component of the healthcare system in Scotland”.