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Published: 11 July 2024

Think pharmacy first

Gurpal Chaggar, owner of Newington Pharmacy in RamsgateThe NHS is aiming to help free up GP appointments and give people more choice in how and where they access care by expanding the services community pharmacies offer.

Going to your local pharmacy offers an easy and convenient way to get clinical advice on minor health concerns. Community pharmacies can now offer treatment for seven common conditions without patients needing to see a GP, as part of a major transformation in the way the NHS delivers care.

You can access treatment for the following conditions.

  • Earache (aged one to 17-years)
  • Impetigo (aged one-year-and-over)
  • Infected insect bites (aged one-year-and-over)
  • Shingles (aged 18-years and over)
  • Sinusitis (aged 12-years and over)
  • Sore throat (aged five-years and over)
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs) (women aged 16 to 64-years)

Don't wait for minor health concerns to get worse – think pharmacy first and get seen by your local pharmacy team. Community pharmacists will signpost patients to other local services where necessary.

The new expanded community pharmacy services also include starting oral contraception without needing to see a GP. The pharmacist will speak with you confidentially in a consultation room and decide which checks you might need including a body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure measurement for combined oral hormone contraception. You can view of list of local pharmacies offering the contraceptive service at

Gurpal Chaggar, owner of Newington Pharmacy in Ramsgate with clientGurpal Chaggar, owner of Newington Pharmacy in Ramsgate said: “We understand sometimes life can get hectic and it’s important to have services which make things easier for our customers. Our goal is to make sure our customers feel comfortable and supported during their experience with us.”

Many pharmacies offer a range of other health and wellbeing services including support to go smokefree, seasonal flu vaccination programmes and blood pressure check services, so pop in today and find out how your local pharmacy can support you.

For more information, visit