Published on: 31 January 2024

Patients in Herefordshire and Worcestershire will be able to get treatment for a range of common conditions at their high street pharmacy from today without needing to see a GP, as part of a major transformation in the way the NHS delivers care. 

More than 90% of community pharmacies in the two counties will be offering the ground-breaking initiative, making it easier and more convenient for people to access care. 

Highly trained pharmacists will be able to assess and treat patients for ailments such as sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women (under the age of 65) without the need for an appointment at the GP practice or prescription.  

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire’s Pharmacy lead, Alison Rogers says: 

“This new service will make it so much easier for people to access the healthcare advice and support they need, when they need it.  

“Pharmacists are medicines experts and members of the public should feel assured that the healthcare advice they receive from pharmacists and their teams will be second to none.  

“With all the pressures across the NHS, it’s everyone’s responsibility to direct requests for help to the right place. I am delighted that over 90% of our Herefordshire and Worcestershire NHS community pharmacies have already signed up to deliver this new service so for common illnesses, we should all be thinking “Pharmacy First”. 

The new service is part of a wider expansion of healthcare services that will empower pharmacists to use more of their skills and give people more choice about their healthcare. It is also hoped that the service will be expanded to include more conditions in the future.  

This expansion of pharmacy services will give the public more choice in where and how they access care, and forms part of the NHS and government’s primary care access recovery plan, which committed to making accessing healthcare easier for millions of people.  

It builds on the successful expansion of the contraceptive pill service in December 2023, and blood pressure tests earlier in the year. 

Find the new service at a pharmacy near you using the NHS website: Pharmacies - NHS (