The NHS Minor Ailments service

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Information & Advice

The NHS Minor Ailments service

The NHS Minor Ailments Service provides free medicines in selected pharmacies for people who don't pay for prescriptions.

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The NHS Minor Ailments service

Common illnesses such as coughs and snuffles affect us all from time to time. If you are suffering from a common illness such as a cold, hayfever, diarrhoea or other minor illness, do you really need to make an appointment to see the doctor?

Help for common illnesses

Some Boots pharmacies offer a Minor Ailments Service. If your pharmacist thinks you need a medicine to treat your minor illness, and you are eligible, they can supply it free of charge.*

Where is the service available?

This service is only offered in selected stores in England and Wales where the Clinical Commissioning Group or Health Board commissions the service and throughout Boots stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where the service is commissioned nationally. Ask your local Boots pharmacist whether they offer this service in store.

Who is the service for?

The service is available to customers who:

  • Are entitled to free prescriptions*
  • Are registered with a doctor taking part in the Minor Ailments Service
  • Are suffering from a minor illness included in the local service

*Eligibility and type of illness covered by the service varies by locality. Please check in store for details. Subject to pharmacist availability.

Illnesses supported within the scheme may differ between locations. Some illnesses covered include:

Back ache, sprains and strains Haemorrhoids Minor fungal infections of the skin
Colds Hay fever Mouth ulcers
Conjunctivitis Head lice Nappy rash
Constipation Headache and fever Sore throat
Coughs Heartburn and indigestion Teething
Diarrhoea Insect bites and stings Threadworm
Earache Mild eczema and dermatitis Thrush
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