Minor Ailment Scheme
This practice is one of the GP practices within Preston who are taking part in a new initiative called ‘Pharmacy First’
Community Pharmacies across Preston may be able to supply patients with the medicines needed to treat those minor illnesses listed below
Small quantities of a limited range of medicines are available through the scheme.
Patients do not have to make an appointment to see the GP or even come to the surgery first. Patients can ask the pharmacist if they can be treated using Pharmacy First.
If the patient does not pay for their prescriptions, then the medicines will be provided free of charge.
The patient will be required to demonstrate to the pharmacy that they are patients at this surgery. Therefore it is important that patients who have not already joined the scheme and been issued with a ‘Pharmacy First’ passport by the pharmacy, go to the pharmacy in Preston that has dispensed their routine prescriptions in the past.
Using the scheme does not prevent the patient from seeing the doctor if they wish to do so.
The pharmacist may refer the patient back to the doctor if they are unable to offer treatment, eg. if the illness is not treatable through the scheme or the medicine available through the scheme is inappropriate.
- Athletes foot
- Cold sores
- Cough, Cold & Flu like symptoms (including Fever)
- Hay fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
- Head Lice
- Mouth ulcers
- Nappy rash
- Sore throat
- Thrush (Oral or Vaginal)
COLDS, COUGHS AND SORE THROATS
Most of these diseases are ‘self-limiting’ and last a few days only. They are commonly due to viruses that cause colds, coughs, sore throats, aches and pains, fever and nausea, usually with general weakness. The symptoms will improve completely in a few days without any need for a consultation. If these symptoms are distressing or uncomfortable then simple measures such as bed rest, Paracetamol, fluids and simple foods are all that are necessary.
Antibiotics have no therapeutic value in the treatment of these common virus infections and are only useful if a bacterial infection is diagnosed. These are relatively uncommon nowadays and are certainly not the cause of Flu or most sore throats, cold and coughs.
A fever is not in itself a ‘disease’. It is one of the natural responses of the body to infection. Usually there is no major cause for concern and the condition does not necessarily require treatment. For comfort’s sake, bed, paracetamol, fluids and rest will help. Children can quickly produce quite high temperatures with vigorous shivering and appear pale, followed by marked flushing and sweating as they cool down again. Whilst they have a raised temperature they can appear to be quite ‘ill’ but as soon as they start to cool down, they will usually quickly improve. We usually advise that they be kept cool using simple measures only – removing unnecessary clothing especially in bed, tepid sponging and giving paracetamol (Calpol and Disprol are paracetamol). Give the maximum stated dose for your child’s age. A child with a temperature will not come to any harm if brought to the surgery for examination. In fact they often benefit from the cooling down effect of the outside air. (Normal body temp. 37C, 98.4F).
GASTROENTERITIS (Diarrhoea with or without vomiting)
This is normally caused by an infection (usually a virus) in the stomach and/or bowel. The diarrhoea and vomiting are nature’s way of flushing infection from the system. Unless symptoms continue or are extremely severe it is usually better not to take any medicines or tablets. The symptoms usually improve by themselves within 24 – 48 hours. The best remedy is to take sips of fluid (which should be water based). Do not eat and do not drink milk or milk products. If the problem persists or if a young baby is affected then the surgery would be pleased to advise on appropriate treatment.
BURNS AND SCALDS
Start cooling the burn immediately under running water for at least 10 minutes or until the pain is relieved. Remove any clothing or jewellery, etc around the burn, unless it is sticking to the skin. Cover the burn with clean, non-fluffy material to protect from infection. DO NOT use lotions, ointments or creams, adhesive dressings or attempt to break any blisters. If the burn is larger than a postage stamp it may need medical attention.
CUTS AND GRAZES
Skin wounds can occur at any time. Clean cuts tend to bleed a lot and can be quite deep. Grazes are usually superficial, although dirty . Initial treatment therefore depends on the type of wound. Direct pressure (5 to 10 minutes) to control bleeding, cleaning with water or antiseptic if dirty and the application of a clean dry dressing to protect the wound from further damage. Some wounds tend to bleed profusely although they are not necessarily as serious as they might seem after first aid treatment.
Sit in a chair, leaning forward with your mouth open. Pinch your nose just below the bony bridge for as long as it takes to stop all bleeding. Afterwards rest for 24 hours avoiding all hot and alcoholic drinks during this time. If the bleeding is severe or will not stop with these measures then attendance at the Accident and Emergency Department would be appropriate.
Fainting is the body’s way of ensuring an adequate blood supply to the brain. The associated pallor, sweating, nausea and giddiness are all symptoms of this natural response. If a person looks or feels like a faint is inevitable they should ALWAYS be laid flat or head down. They should quickly recover.