Working in the community, pharmacists use their clinical expertise together with their practical knowledge to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by patients and members of the public.​

Pharmacists dispense your prescriptions and other medicines, offer testing and screening for common medical conditions and can advise if you have a minor illness.​

Pharmacists also offer advice on sexual health or stopping smoking, as well as common problems like:​

  • Coughs, colds and flu​
  • Bugs and viruses​
  • Minor injuries​
  • Tummy troubles​
  • Women’s health​
  • Skin conditions​
  • Allergies​
  • Aches and pains​
  • Children’s problems​

Your local pharmacist can also help you decide whether you need to see a doctor or nurse.​

You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence, even about the most personal symptoms and you don’t need to make an appointment. Most pharmacies now have a private consultation area where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard by other members of the public.​

Find your local pharmacy

Use the NHS Find a Pharmacy tool to find a community pharmacy near you.​

Community Pharmacy services

NHS Discharge Medicines Service (DMS): This service will help ensure that there is effective communication between hospital, community pharmacy and GP/PCN pharmacists of changes to a patient’s medication when a patient leaves hospital. ​

NHS Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS): CPCS will support general practice to ensure that patients with minor ailments are supported by other health care professionals. Patients requesting an appointment with minor ailment symptoms will be directly referred to a community pharmacy of their choice. Pilot sites are currently being identified in South East London.

Prescription charges​

Most adult patients must pay a charge for their prescribed medicines. For up-to-date information about prescription charges, prescription pre-payment certificates and other costs visit the NHS website.​

Some people can get their NHS prescriptions free of charge. Find out if you can get free prescriptions.

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