If you're feeling unwell, pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action.

Your community pharmacy this winter

Pharmacy First

residents who are registered with a Somerset GP, can pop down to their local pharmacy for help with seven minor conditions which would previously have required a GP appointment. At the pharmacy patients will be able to have a private consultation about their condition, be offered clinical advice and if needed, will be offered NHS medicines.

(NHS prescription charge apply if you normally pay for medicines supplied on prescription).

The conditions are

  • Sinusitis (children over 12 years and adults)
  • Sore throat (children over 5 years and adults)
  • Earache (children 1 to 17 years)
  • Infected insect bites (children over 1 and adults)
  • Impetigo (children over 1 and adults)
  • Shingles (over 18’s)
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), (women 16 – 65 years).

As experts in medicines and managing minor illnesses, community pharmacists have the skills and knowledge to be able to offer advice and help.

Should the pharmacy team be unable to help, you will be directed to your GP surgery or A&E as appropriate.


Minor childhood conditions

Your local pharmacy can provide convenient, same day expert advice, reassurance and help if your child is unwell with a range of minor conditions from eye and ear infections to rashes, coughs and colds, sore throats, teething, tummy troubles and aches and pains.

Many pharmacies have confidential consultation rooms.


Feeling unwell? Don’t wait – get advice from your nearest pharmacist

If you feel like you’re coming down with something, even if it’s just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets worse. Act quickly. The sooner you get advice from a pharmacist the better.

Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action. So go to see a pharmacist as soon as you start to feel unwell. This can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and get back to normal.

If you can’t get to a pharmacist yourself, ask someone to go for you or call your local pharmacy.

How you can help yourself

  • Be prepared for most common ailments by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home
  • Visit your pharmacist as soon as you start to feel unwell and before it gets too serious
  • Choose the right health service for you.
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Bank holiday opening hours

During bank holiday weekends, some pharmacies will remain open to provide you and your family with healthcare advice and medicines if you should need it. To find out which pharmacies are open this bank holiday, visit the NHS England website here.

The Electronic Prescription Service means that your GP can send your prescription electronically to a pharmacy of your choice. 93% of Somerset practices are able to offer this service, more and more are now coming on board.

NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)

The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) was launched in October 2019, to progress the integration of community pharmacy into local NHS urgent care services, providing more convenient treatment closer to patients’ homes. The service offers patients the option of having a face-to-face consultation with a pharmacist following an initial assessment by an NHS 111 call handler. The call handler can make a digital referral to a convenient pharmacy, where the patient can attend to receive advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses or for an urgent supply of a previously prescribed medicine. Should the patient need to be escalated or referred to an alternative service, the pharmacist can arrange this.

GP Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (Think Pharmacy)

We have introduced a new, same-day, GP Community Pharmacy Consultation Service to help you receive quality care and support for minor health conditions, more quickly through accessing care via your community pharmacist.

Pharmacy commissioning

From Saturday 1 April 2023, NHS Somerset took over responsibility for the commissioning and management of pharmaceutical, ophthalmic and dental (POD) services in the county.

These services have previously been commissioned and managed by NHS England, but this change will mean that NHS Somerset will be responsible for a broader range of functions and enable us to have a greater flexibility to integrate services across care pathways, ensuring continuity for patients and improved health outcomes for the local population.

This change is a significant milestone towards the move to a system-based approach to improvement and stronger partnership working as set out in the NHS England operating framework. 

Patients should not be impacted by this transition, and services should see no change due to this delegation.

For more information on this page, please visit the commissioning page on NHS England’s website.

Find out more

For more information on how your local pharmacy can help, visit the NHS website
View information on over the counter medicines no longer available on prescription
View Easy-read information on over the counter medicines no longer available on prescription
To find your nearest pharmacy visit or call NHS 111