What Is Pharmacy First & Why Is It Important to You?

Pharmacy First advice by phone

Pharmacy First is an NHS funded service that began on the 31st of January 2024 in the UK. It allows pharmacies such as PillSorted to provide healthcare advice, supply prescription-only medicines including antibiotics and antivirals where clinically appropriate and treat several common health conditions without the need to visit a GP.

For you, this means if you have symptoms suggestive of the seven conditions covered by Pharmacy First you can save the time and hassle of making an appointment with your GP, by calling a pharmacist first instead. This will give you quicker and more convenient access to safe and quality healthcare. You can think of Pharmacy First an easier way for you to get the help you need.

In this article, you’ll come away with a better understanding of what Pharmacy First is, and you’ll understand why it’s so important to you.

In this post:

  • Which conditions does Pharmacy First cover?
  • How to book a remote consultation
  • Why is Pharmacy First important to you?
  • Dos & Don’ts
  • Main takeaways

Which conditions does Pharmacy First cover?

Today, the Pharmacy First service covers these 7 common conditions:

In the future, Pharmacy First may include additional conditions. Once fully scaled, the service could relieve 10 million appointments a year from GPs.

How to book a consultation with your pharmacist

For most conditions, you can conveniently consult with an online pharmacist remotely. However, in the case of ear infections in children, a physical examination using an otoscope is necessary, requiring an in-person visit to a pharmacy. Since PillSorted operates as a fully online pharmacy, we’ll refer you to another pharmacy for this specific case.

To schedule a remote consultation, simply contact your pharmacist directly (PillSorted can be reached at 03334 050380) or schedule an appointment online. Additionally, your GP may also direct you to a pharmacist if they have limited availability for appointments.

During your consultation, the pharmacist will provide advice and treatment or refer you to another healthcare professional if necessary. This could be if your symptoms don’t align with the seven common conditions or if you fall outside the applicable age range. Following the consultation, your pharmacist will update your GP health record for continuity of care.

Why is Pharmacy First important to you?

There are many benefits to this new service. They include:

Dos & Don’ts

Contact your pharmacist first if you suspect you have symptoms of any of the 7 approved conditions: earache, impetigo, infected insect bites, shingles, sinusitis, sore throat, and UTIs.Don’t make an appointment with your GP for the 7 common conditions unless your symptoms are persistent or severe. But yes, you can still visit your GP simply if you prefer to.
Book an appointment online from the convenience of your own home. Call your pharmacist. Or for earache, walk in.Don’t need to visit pharmacy unless you are bringing a child with an ear infection
Receive your medicine right to your door for free. Don’t worry about extra charges, Pharmacy First is a free service. The appointment and advice from your pharmacist are free. Delivery of your medications is also free with any NHS prescription.

Main takeaways

  • Pharmacy First, an NHS funded service, launched in the UK on January 31st, 2024, allowing pharmacies like PillSorted to offer healthcare advice, dispense prescription medicines, and treat seven common conditions without the need for a GP visit.
  • With Pharmacy First, pharmacists take on a more significant role in healthcare.
  • Individuals experiencing symptoms of the seven covered conditions can benefit from expedited and convenient access to healthcare services.


UK Department of Health and Social Care (2024). Pharmacy First: what you need to know

NHS England (2024). Pharmacy First

GOV.UK (2023). Pharmacy First contractual framework: 2023 to 2025


PillSorted is a full service pharmacy that delivers trusted pharmacy products, over-the counter medications, and the prescriptions as part of Pharmacy First, directly to your door. Your PillSorted pharmacist is happy to answer your questions about Pharmacy First and treatments at 033 4050380 or help@pillsorted.com.

PillSorted Van