Minor Ailments Scheme

What is Pharmacy First?

If you have a minor ailment, it is the quickest and easiest way to get treatment and advice from a health professional. If you are suffering from one of the ailments listed below, you may not need to go to your GP for treatment. Instead of waiting for a GP’s appointment, visit your local community Pharmacy first.

• No appointment is necessary.

• The Pharmacist will always offer advice and where appropriate, they will supply a medicine from the formulary.

• If the Pharmacist considers supply of a medicine is appropriate, then it will be free for patients who are eligible for free prescription (you will need to show proof of exemption).

• Patients who have to pay for prescriptions, will pay the current prescription charge. If the medicine costs less than the prescription charge, then the patient will be informed of this so they can purchase it instead.

Ailments Included in the Scheme:  


Athlete’s foot

Back pain

Cold sores



Contact dermatitis

Coughs & colds




Ear wax


Haemorrhoids (piles)

Hayfever & allergies 

Head lice



Insect bites/stings

Mouth ulcer

Nappy rash


Sprains & strains





Sore throat

Warts & verrucas

The scheme is available to everyone living or working in the borough of Croydon, including parents and carers.

For the Pharmacist to carry out a full assessment of your condition,  you must go to the Pharmacy in person. If a child is suffering from a minor ailment, the Pharmacist may be able to make the assessment with the

carer. The Pharmacist will decide if this is appropriate.

• On your first visit, you will be asked to register onto the scheme.

• You should expect to have a consultation with the Pharmacist or trained staff. This may take up to 10 minutes. This is to ensure that you get the appropriate treatment and/or advice. Most Pharmacies have a private consultation room for this.

• You will be given advice and medication if necessary. Sometimes you may not need any medicine. If that’s the case, the Pharmacist will advise you on how to deal with your symptoms. If it is appropriate, you will be given the right medicines.

• The medicines supplied are only for you, and will be labelled with your name and directions for use.

• Do not share your medicines. They may not be right for anyone else, even if they have similar symptoms.

If the Pharmacist considers it necessary, you might be referred to your GP for further investigation.