Community pharmacists are highly skilled and qualified healthcare professionals who are on hand to answer questions about using your medication, such as what is the right dosage, how and when to take the medicines and how to manage any side effects that could occur.
They will also recommend over the counter medicines for short term conditions and minor ailments when these are appropriate, or provide advice on other measures to help you manage or prevent short term conditions. Although people don’t always think to talk to their pharmacist about these matters, they are an excellent source of advice. And we know from experience that people are more likely to stick to their medicine routine if they get advice from the right healthcare professional in the first place.
You don’t need an appointment to see your local pharmacist and because they are based in pharmacies located in supermarkets and shops they are often open late at night and at the weekends, when most surgeries are closed.
They usually have a separate room so you can have a private discussion about your condition and they can advise you there and then on lifestyle advice and /or over the counter medicines to deal with a range of minor ailments including:
You can also get support with managing long-term conditions such as diabetes or heart disease by having blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar tests at your local pharmacy. You will still need regular reviews with your GP, nurse or specialist - pharmacists can advise on when is best to see a GP.
Getting advice from a local pharmacist is the best first step for a minor health concern. But if you think you or your family member are more seriously ill, then a GP or hospital may be more appropriate.
Frequently asked questions
What are short-term conditions and minor ailments?
What are over-the-counter medicines?
Why can’t I get over-the-counter medicines from my doctor?
- 1214 hip replacements
- 218 community nurses
- 10,244 treatments at hospital for Parkinson’s disease
- Free up GP time to create one extra GP appointment per year for every person in mid Essex.
If you are no longer prescribing over-the-counter medicines, where can I get them from?
I am exempt from paying prescription charges or my child is under 16 years old and normally gets their prescriptions free. How does this affect me?
- People who get their prescriptions free
- Those with a medical / maternity exemption
- Children under the age of 16 years and adults over the age of 60 years (in the case of children, it is the parent / guardian / carer responsibility to purchase these medicines
- Those with a prescription pre-payment certificate
- People receiving income-related support
I have a long-term condition and take OTC medicines regularly; do I need to buy them?
I have been to my pharmacist to buy a particular type of medicine but they will not sell it to me. What do I do?
- When a product is not licensed for sale for your intended use
- When a product is not appropriate for you, or could cause you harm
- There are restrictions on the amount that can be sold and you are asking for too much of the product
- Help with your medicines
- pdf Over The Counter Poster/Flyer (564 KB)
- pdf Mid Essex Common Childhood Illness and Wellbeing Handbook (4.73 MB)
For help with your medicines please click here.