Pharmacy First

As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.

If symptoms suggest it's something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. For example they will tell you if you need to see a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.

  • All pharmacists train for 5 years in the use of medicines. They are also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.
  • Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment.
  • Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.

How to register

If you were previously registered on Pharmacy First, you will need a new registration for Health First Pharmacy. This can be done in two ways:

  • The Community Pharmacy will be able to check that you are still registered with a City & Hackney practice.
    • You should take some form of ID and proof of eligibility with you to the Community Pharmacy.
  • Your GP practice emailing the address for the Community Pharmacy of your choice to confirm that you are registered with the practice.
    • This email will include your NHS number.

Eligibility for Health First Pharmacy

Services will now be provided to residents who are considered socially vulnerable. These include:

  • Patients or their partners (including civil partner) receiving, or patients under the age of 20 and are the dependant of someone receiving:
    • Universal Credit and whose income is at a level where they are eligible for free prescriptions.
    • Any other benefits which give them eligibility for free prescriptions including: income support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
  • Patients (including any partner and/or young person(s) included in the claim) receiving tax credits, who have been sent an ‘NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate’ by Prescription Services.
  • NHS low income scheme.
  • Prescription Exemption Certificate issued by the Ministry of Defence.
  • Young people aged 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education.
  • Patients under 16 who have at least one parent who is eligible for the service.

Prescription charge exemption categories DO NOT give eligibility for Health First Pharmacy unless patients also fit into one of the socially vulnerable categories above.


Conditions covered in Health First Pharmacy

  • Athletes Foot
  • Headache
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Hay fever
  • Back pain
  • Head Lice
  • Indigestion/heartburn
  • Diarrhoea Primary
  • Dysmenorrhoea (Period Pain)
  • Nappy Rash
  • Fever (pyrexia)
  • Ringworm
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Teething
  • Vaginal thrush
  • Toothache
  • Threadworm Warts and Verrucae