Your local Pharmacist is a trained medicine expert who can dispense and advise you on the safe use of prescription, repeat prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
Most pharmacies are open until late and at weekends, and they all have a private area where you can talk to a Pharmacist in confidence. You don’t need to book an appointment to see a Pharmacist.
When should you use the service?
- If you have a minor injury and need advice or medicine to care for yourself at home
- If you start feeling unwell and want advice or medicine to treat yourself at home before it gets worse
However, did you know that pharmacies do more than just dispense medicine? They also provide many other services, including:
Help with minor ailments, illnesses and injuries ↓
Your Pharmacist can give you advice and information on a range of common conditions and minor injuries such as:
- aches and pains
- sore throat
- colds and flu
- insect bites
- skin rashes
Your Pharmacist can also advise you if you need to see a GP. So if you start to feel under the weather, pop along to your local pharmacy for advice and medicine before it gets worse.
Healthy lifestyle advice ↓
Pharmacies can help you look after yourself by providing advice and information on:
- eating healthily
- physical activity
- how to loose weight
- how to cut down or stop smoking
Where appropriate, your pharmacy can also signpost you to other local sources of advice and support.
Disposal of unwanted or out-of-date medicines ↓
If you have unwanted or out-of-date medicine, take it into your local pharmacy to dispose of it for free. Where possible, try to return medicines in their original packaging as some may need special handling. Disposing of medicines incorrectly, such as in the bin or pouring them down the sink, could lead to them being found by children or pose risks to the environment.
The morning-after-pill and pregnancy tests ↓
Most pharmacies can sell you a morning-after pill over the counter after a consultation with the pharmacist. Some may even provide it free on the NHS. Most pharmacies also sell pregnancy test kits, and some have a private area where you can use the kit.
Needle and syringe exchange service ↓
Injecting drug users who share or reuse needles/syringes are at risk of contracting various blood-borne viruses and infections including HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
To help reduce the transmission of these viruses, many pharmacies run needle and syringe exchange services where injecting drug users can exchange used needles for new ones.
Emergency Access to Medicine Scheme
There are currently 23 pharmacies that take part in this scheme across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire to ensure prompt access to certain prescription-only medicines that may be needed in an emergency, including “End of Life” drugs. Find out more here