How to get free medication without a prescription
Not only does this free up GP appointments, it also helps if you can’t be seen by a GP when you need to.
The Minor Ailment service is available in SELECTED parts of the UK and not available for everyone.
I used to work in a pharmacy before I left to do Ashleigh Money Saver full time. It scares me how so many other money saving pages are giving out wrong information about this scheme and causing havoc in pharmacies in the UK with people turning up to collect their ‘free’ medication. So I am clearing up the rumours and giving you the facts to make it easier on pharmacy staff who are having to correct the information.
Remember, you can buy paracetamol tablets and paracetamol suspension (unbranded Calpol) for less than £1 in a lot of places, please only use this scheme if you really need to as it costs the NHS to run this. However, it is a great idea for more expensive medication you many need which is available on the scheme.
PLEASE NOTE – This is not available in all areas, so check with your local pharmacy to see if they participate. Boots is one pharmacy that participates.
In the North East of England you may see it called the ‘Pharmacy First Scheme’. In other areas it is called ‘Care of the chemist’
For an adult, if you are entitled to free prescriptions you can go into any participating pharmacy and after a short chat with the pharmacist they can give you free medication. This includes over 60’s, anyone with a maternity certificate and those on certain benefits. Most pharmacies ask for proof of eligibility.
For a child, it’s different rules across the country so check with your local pharmacy. For Newcastle upon Tyne, if the parent/guardian is entitled to free prescriptions then the child can use the service. If the parent/guardian is not entitled to free prescription then following the consultation with the pharmacist they will have to pay for any medicine required for their child. However, in different parts of the country it is different rules so again, check with your nearest participating pharmacy.
I love this service because it frees up so many GP appointments, not enough people realise how clued up pharmacists are and can help them without the need for a trip to GP surgery. The pharmacist can also sign post you to other services if they think you need to be seen elsewhere such as GP surgery, hospital, family planning clinic etc.
The list of ailments that can be treat on The Minor Ailment Scheme are
- Hay fever
- Head lice
- Headache and fever
- Heartburn and indigestion
- Insect bites and stings
- Mild eczema and dermatitis
- Mouth ulcers
- Nappy rash
- Sore throat
- Thread worm
You wont be given branded medication such as Calpol, you get the generic version which is exactly the same.
Most pharmacies will ask for proof of eligibility, so if you are on benefits take something along with your as proof.
Most independant pharmacies run this scheme but if you are struggling to find one then most Boots stores do the scheme and you can find more information here on the Boots Minor Ailment Scheme