It's estimated 50 million visits to the GP are made each year for minor ailments like coughs and colds, mild eczema and athlete's foot.

By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble. Instead of booking and waiting for a GP appointment, you can visit your local pharmacy any time – just walk in.

All pharmacists are trained to recognise many common health complaints. They can give advice or, where appropriate, medicines that will help clear up the problem.

If your problem is more serious and needs the attention of a GP, your pharmacist will recognise this and advise you to see your GP instead. If you have a common health problem, a trip to your local pharmacy is an option.

Your pharmacist will be able to help with:

  • Skin conditions, such as mild acne and mild eczema
  • Coughs and colds, including nasal congestion and sore throat
  • Minor cuts and bruises
  • Constipation and haemorrhoids (piles)
  • Hay fever and allergies
  • Aches and pains, such as headaches, earache and back pain
  • Indigestion, diarrhoea and threadworms
  • Period pain and thrush
  • Warts, verrucas and athlete’s foot, mouth ulcers and cold sores

Some pharmacies also provide additional services such as emergency hormonal contraception (the morning after pill) and sexual health advice.

What’s more, many pharmacies are open in the evenings and on the weekends. You can search for your local pharmacy.