This is a new service offered to all primary healthcare patients (Those calling their GP surgery)  Not every request has to be dealt with by the GP.  For the majority of minor ailments the best service to use is the Community Pharmacy who can usually see you on the same day.  If you have been referred to a community pharmacist when you called us for an appointment and haven’t yet heard from them after a couple of hours, it is suggested to call them to find out when they will see you.  This new way of offering a different approach is what we term care navigation or signposting to the most relevant service to help you better.


GP surgeries are encouraged to use this service to ensure patients are able to access the right care, in the right place, with the right person, at the right time. The service aims to reduce the pressure on general practices and A&E departments whilst also offering increased convenience and choice for patients.

All patients are eligible to be referred into the service, including children over the age of 1 year. Around 90 per cent of patients who have been referred by their GP practice have been successfully helped by the pharmacist for minor illnesses.

Pharmacists are highly qualified healthcare professionals who are experienced in recognising and managing a wide range of conditions and minor illnesses. Pharmacists have expert knowledge of medicines and are able to determine when to refer patients to seek additional medical help.

Community pharmacists are at the forefront of the NHS and understand their local community and patients’ needs. Pharmacists have extensive knowledge on health conditions and medicines and are able to provide appropriate advice on a range health topics and therefore, where a patient requires health advice not related to their referral a pharmacist is well placed to provide this advice. If necessary, patients can be referred back to their GP, for example if further clinical examination is required.

The following list of symptoms is not exhaustive but reflects the range that will be referred to the community pharmacist when you call the surgery about one of the listed issues below:

Acne, Spots and Pimples
Allergic Reaction
Ankle or Foot Pain or Swelling
Arm Pain or Swelling
Athlete’s Foot
Bites or Stings, Insect or Spider
Cold or Flu
Earache, Ear Discharge or Ear Wax
Eye, Red or Irritable
Eye, Sticky or Watery
Hair Loss
Hip, Thigh or Buttock Pain or Swelling
Knee or Lower Leg Pain or Swelling
Lower Back Pain
Lower Limb Pain or Swelling
Mouth Ulcers
Rectal Pain, Swelling, Lump or Itch
Shoulder Pain
Skin, Rash
Sleep Difficulties
Sore Throat and Hoarse Voice
Tiredness (Fatigue)
Toe Pain or Swelling
Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal Itch or Soreness
Wound Problems – management of dressings
Wrist, Hand or Finger Pain or Swelling