​​​​​​​What is the pharmacy first scheme?

The Pharmacy First scheme provides advice, treatment and medicines for common ailments from your local pharmacy.

How does it work?

If you have any common ailments, you can access the Pharmacy First scheme in two ways:

  1. Visit one of the pharmacies taking part in the Pharmacy First scheme.  You will be seen promptly by a member of the pharmacy team and you can ask to be seen in private.

  2. Some practices use this scheme and may give you a voucher (one per patient) to take to the pharmacy. 

​Common ailments

Common ailments are minor health problems.  Below is a list of common ailments that your local pharmacist can help you resolve under the scheme.


Hay fever


Head lice

Vaginal thrush


Heart burn

Sore throats

Athlete's foot

Insect bites and stings

Burns and scalds



Cold and flu

Cold sore

Mouth ulcer





Contact dermatitis

Nappy rash

Ear wax

Itching associated with chicken pox​​

Frequently asked questions​

Who is eligible?

You are eligible for the Pharmacy First scheme if you are:

  • Registered with a Lewisham GP

  • Suffering from one of the conditions listed above

  • You are NOT pregnant

Please note:

  • For some conditions there are age limitations

  • Person needing treatment must be present at the consultation

  • If your problem is recurring or your symptoms persist you should seek further advice

Can I go to any pharmacist?

Click here.pdf for a list of participating pharmacies.

Will I have to pay for my advice or medicine?

All advice is free and if you do not normally pay prescription charges, any medicine recommended will be free.  If you are liable for prescription charges these are still applicable.​

Will I always get medication?

On some occasions you may not need medication and will receive advice or they may advise you to get further advice or treatment by referral to an appropriate clinician.​