Minor Ailment Service

What is the Minor Ailment Service?

Everyone can go to their pharmacist for advice about a minor illness or ailment. This new service, for people who don’t pay prescription charges (including children), means that your pharmacist can also provide you a treatment, if needed, without you having to pay a charge.

How does it work?

  • You register for the service with the community pharmacy of your choice
  • You don’t have to make an appointment. You can go along at a time that suits you
  • If your pharmacist thinks that you need a medicine or other treatment, they will provide you this without you needing to pay.

You will still have to go to your GP if:

  • your pharmacist suggests you should
  • you need a medicine that you can only get on prescription from your GP.
  • Who is the service for?
  • You can use the Minor Ailment Service if:
  • you are registered with a GP surgery in Scotland
  • you don’t pay for your prescriptions
  • you don’t live in a nursing or residential care home

What does the service offer?

You will be able to get advice and free treatment from your community pharmacist for minor illnesses and complaints such as:

  • acne
  • bullet   
  • athletes foot
  • back ache
  • cold sores
  • constipation
  • cough
  • diarrhoea
  • ear ache
  • eczema and allergies
  • haemorrhoids (piles)
  • hay fever
  • headache
  • head lice
  • indigestion
  • mouth ulcers
  • nasal congestion
  • pain
  • period pain
  • thrush
  • sore throat
  • threadworms
  • warts and verrucae

If your pharmacist feels that it is better for you to see your GP then they may refer you directly or tell you to make an appointment with your GP.

How do I register?

You can register for the Minor Ailment Service at a community pharmacy of your choice. You can do this at any time. Your pharmacist will ask you for some details - your name, date of birth, gender, and postcode. He or she will also check whether you pay for your prescriptions. Your pharmacist completes a form to register you for the service.

You will be asked to mark the reason why you don’t pay for your prescriptions on the form. Your pharmacist may ask you for proof, so try to remember to bring this information with you. You will then be asked to sign the form. Your pharmacist will print a separate form for each member of your family, including children, who you register.

You can only register with one community pharmacy at a time for the Minor Ailment Service.

If you want to go to another pharmacy for the Minor Ailment Service, you can. But you will need to go and register with the new community pharmacy.

If you register with a new community pharmacy, your name will automatically be taken off the list at the community pharmacy you were registered with before.

Can I still go to my GP?

Yes. You can still make an appointment with your GP if you feel this is more suitable.

Can I still go to other pharmacies?

Yes. You can still use other pharmacies to buy medicines or to pick up your prescriptions.

But remember, you can only use the Minor Ailment Service at the community pharmacy you’ve registered with.

NHS ScotlandThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website