The NHS Minor Ailments service

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Information & Advice

The NHS Minor Ailments service

If you or your children don't pay for prescriptions you can use the NHS Minor Ailments service to get advice and medicines free of charge.

The NHS Minor Ailments service is available at pharmacies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and selected stores in England and Wales so check locally with your Boots pharmacist for availability.

What is the NHS Minor Ailments Service?

If you don't pay for prescriptions you may be able to receive advice and be given a medicine for a range of minor ailments, free of charge, on the NHS, without having to visit your doctor first. Minor ailments could include coughs, colds, headaches, hay fever, insect bites and stings, eczema, earache and diarrhoea.

Which ailments are commonly treated?

We recommend that you speak to your Boots pharmacist who can advise you on if the Minor Ailments service could be suitable for you and members of your family.

Because this is an NHS service which is only available in selected Boots stores, not every store will be able to treat the same list of minor ailments. However examples of ailments which are commonly treated include:

Back ache, sprains and strains Haemorrhoids Minor fungal infections of the skin


Hay fever

Mouth ulcers


Head lice

Nappy rash


Headache and fever

Sore throat


Heartburn and indigestion



Insect bites and stings



Mild eczema and dermatitis


Remember, a Boots pharmacist is available to give you advice and help you may need to manage these and other common ailments.

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