Common Ailment Scheme – Think Pharmacy First

Updated on 16th March 2022 at 9:12 am


The ‘common aliment service’ (Think Pharmacy First – the public facing name for this service) allows patients who are eligible for a levy-free prescription to obtain treatments direct from their pharmacist for a range of common ailments.

We know that people often visit their GP with common illnesses which their local pharmacist could have helped with, especially to access treatment via a levy-free prescription.
All GP practices should have access to an electronic system – Patient Access or PharmRefer to triage patients and electronically refer them where appropriate to their local pharmacy for the GP Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS).

Now that the common aliments service is widely available it means patients can be triaged and referred via GP CPCS in the knowledge that the pharmacist can provide a range of treatments free of charge for patients who do not pay for their prescriptions.
This service aims to release GP appointment slots to use for higher acuity patients, whilst ensuring eligible patients can still access advice and where needed treatment for common ailments free of charge.

It’s also important patients with common illnesses which could be treated via the pharmacist should be also be informed to ‘Think Pharmacy First’ and can be treated at their community pharmacy in line with NHS free prescription criteria.

The more we can work together to promote the ‘Think Pharmacy First’ scheme alongside the GP CPCS it will provide the evidence for this service to continue in the future and ensure that the right patients are seen and treated by the most appropriate health professional