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New Barnsley Scheme Launched for Minor Ailments

New Barnsley Scheme Launched for Minor Ailments
13 December 2013

Barnsley GPs and pharmacies are offering a new service from this week which gives people more choice and easier access when it comes to treating minor illnesses and ailments.

The service is called Pharmacyfirst and means that you can get advice and/or medicines for common less serious illnesses from your local pharmacy, without having to make an appointment with your GP first.

Research shows that up to 40% of a GP’s time is taken up dealing with patients suffering from minor conditions. Under the new scheme, patients are encouraged to consult a pharmacist as their first port of call, rather than their GP, for a defined list of ailments including coughs and colds, head lice, heartburn, eczema and dermatitis.

The scheme has been introduced by NHS Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group and has been designed with feedback from Barnsley patients.

Dr Nick Balac, Chair of Barnsley CCG said: “Pharmacies are able to offer expert, confidential advice and treatment for a whole range of minor conditions. We’re committed to improving access to services for Barnsley patients. Pharmacy first means that patients, who may have gone to a GP for a prescription, can now go straight to a Pharmacist as their first port of call, without the need for an appointment.

“By visiting Pharmacists for minor conditions this will free up GP time for dealing with more complex conditions, and may also decrease waiting times for appointments for those that need them.”

The service is available to anyone who is registered with a Barnsley GP, look for the Pharmacyfirst sign or ask your pharmacy for more details.


  • How do I know if I can use the Pharmacyfirst scheme? The Pharmacyfirst scheme is available to anyone registered with a Barnsley GP practice. If you don't normally pay NHS prescription charges, then any medicines supplied under the Pharmacyfirst scheme will be free. If you do pay for your prescriptions, then the cost of the medicines should be much less than the prescription charge and you get the same great advice from your pharmacist.
  • What about children? Children can be treated for certain conditions depending on their age and what medicines are available. Some medicines can only be given to younger children on prescription.  Sometimes the pharmacist will need to see your child to make sure the right advice or treatment is given.
  • How do I know which pharmacy to go to? All pharmacies involved in the scheme that will offer treatment and/or advice are listed here.  The pharmacies participating in the scheme will display a Pharmacyfirst window sticker in their window.  All participating pharmacies have a private consultation area.
  • What conditions are included in the scheme? The conditions currently covered by the scheme are:




Sore throat

Athlete's foot




Blocked nose


Infant colic


Cold sores

Ear wax

Mouth ulcers

Vaginal thrush



Nappy rash



Hay fever

Oral thrush







Head lice




  • Will I always receive medicine? Not always, because you may not require any.  If this is the case the pharmacist will give you advice on how best to treat your symptoms. If it is appropriate, the pharmacist will give you the right medicine.  This medicine is only for you and should not be used for anyone else. The pharmacist will also tell you the best way to take the medicine and other ways to help manage your symptoms.  If the pharmacist thinks you need to see your doctor or nurse the pharmacist will provide you with a referral slip for you to take to your GP.  This will indicate to your doctor or nurse that you have been to the pharmacy and the reason you have been referred to them.
  • What should I do if my symptoms persist? It is IMPORTANT that if your symptoms persist you should seek further advice from your pharmacist or GP.   Remember to take any medication you may have been taking with you.
  • NHS Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) commissions health services for the borough of Barnsley. The CCG is made up of 38 GP member practices and has a governing body which is made up of doctors and nurses, Barnsley lay members and officers.

For all the details on the scheme visit our Pharmacyfirst page.