Pharmacy First service

The Maples Health Centre in conjunction with local pharmacies now offers The “pharmacy First” Service. This means a trained pharmacist from one of the local pharmacies such as, Day Lewis, Swan pharmacy, Tesco pharmacy, or Boots will be able to deal with all the minor ailments.

This service can be used when the reception team member triage your symptoms when you call to book an appointment with the GP, or if you choose to visit the pharmacy yourself without contacting us directly. If your symptom is one of the things listed under minor ailments list you will be referred to the pharmacy first service. The pharmacist will contact you within 4 hours of your referral. For example:

  • If you call the surgery at 10am you can expect to receive a call from the pharmacist by 2pm on the same day.
  • If you call in the late afternoon at 5pm and the pharmacy closes at 6pm, in this case you should expect to receive a call from the pharmacist the following morning by midday which will fall within the four hours contact time after the referral has been done.

If the pharmacist is unable to deal with your minor ailment, the pharmacist will contact the GP surgery to let us know you require a GP appointment. In this instance the GP surgery will contact you to give you an appointment for the following day. You will not have to call the surgery again to make another appointment with the GP.

If you have one of the minor ailments listed below, it is not necessary to call or come to the GP surgery at 8:30am when the phone lines are extremely busy as the Pharmacy First Service is available all throughout the day. It would be best to call after 10am when our phone lines have quietened down.

If you phone and tell us you have already tried over the counter medication for your minor ailment the receptionist may still refer you to the pharmacy First Service first. They may not offer you an appointment with the GP. You may need to be reviewed by the pharmacist first.

We would like to emphasize it is very important as a patient to use the pharmacy First Service for minor ailments. This will free up GP appointments for patients with more complex cases who actually need to be treated by a GP for their health condition.

We all need to do our part for the smooth running of the GP surgery and create a more user friendly service for patients.

Please see below list of Minor ailments:

  • Acne, Spots and Pimples
  • Allergic Reaction
  • Ankle or Foot Pain or Swelling
  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Bites or Stings, Insect or Spider
  • Blisters
  • Cold and flu
  • Constipation
  • Cough
  • Cystitis
  • Diarrhoea
  • Ear Wax
  • Eye, Red or Irritable
  • Eye, Sticky or Watery
  • Eyelid Problems
  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Hearing Problems or Blocked Ear
  • Hip, Thigh or Buttock Pain or Swelling Itch
  • Knee or Lower Leg Pain
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Lower Limb Pain or Swelling
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Rectal Pain
  • Scabies
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Skin, Rash
  • Sleep Difficulties
  • Sore Throat
  • Tiredness
  • Toe Pain or Swelling
  • Vaginal Discharge
  • Vaginal Itch or Soreness
  • Vomiting
  • Wound Problems – management of dressings
  • Wrist, Hand or Finger Pain or Swelling

The following table shows the 7 additional conditions pharmacists can now manage across various age ranges and includes prescribing antibiotics where they are needed.

Clinical pathwayAge range
Acute otitis media (ear infection)1 to 17 years
Impetigo1 year and over
Infected insect bites1 year and over
Shingles18 years and over
Sinusitis12 years and over
Sore throat5 years and over
Uncomplicated urinary tract infectionsWomen 16-64 years

If the pharmacist feels you would benefit from input from a GP rather than them, they will contact us and ask us to arrange a consultation with you.

Please consider contacting the “Pharmacy First” before calling to book an appointment for one of these conditions.