Pharmacists in the Borders are now the first port of call for many Borderers suffering from minor ailments.
The Minor Ailment Service offered by their local pharmacy to get expert advice on treating minor conditions is available to anyone registered with a GP surgery in Scotland who is under the age of 16; under the age of 19 and in full time education; previously exempt from prescription charges; and who does not live in a nursing or residential care home.
It means that they can get the necessary prescription medicines they need for minor conditions from a qualified pharmacist without having to visit their GP.
The pharmacist assesses the patient, advises on treatment and provides a prescription if necessary. They can also provide follow up advice or refer them to another healthcare professional.
Alison Wilson, director of Pharmacy, NHS Borders, said: “People who suffer every year from conditions like coughs and colds, thrush, hayfever, etc can save themselves a trip to the GP by registering with the minor ailment service and visit their local pharmacist instead.
“The service is provided by qualified pharmacists and if during the consultation, their opinion is that the patient needs to see their GP, and then they will advise them to make an appointment as soon as possible.”
Many use the service to get advice about ailments such as skin conditions and allergies, headaches, sore throats and backache. Prescriptions are given if necessary but it’s stressed that the service is not for people stocking up their medicine cabinet for free.