The NHS Minor Ailments service

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Information & Advice

The NHS Minor Ailments service

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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. This is an NHS service for people, including children, who don't pay for prescription charges.* It means that if your pharmacist thinks you need a medicine to treat your minor illness, and you are eligible, they can supply it free of charge.**

*different eligibility criteria apply in Scotland, please ask in store
**subject to pharmacist availability

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

*different eligibility criteria apply in Scotland, please ask in store

Illnesses supported within the scheme may differ between locations. Check with your local Boots pharmacist which of the following illnesses the service may support:

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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