See your Pharmacist First

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland will allow community pharmacies to give people expert help for treating conditions such as sore throats, earache and cold sores, along with common clinical conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTI’s).

GP Practices are still working differently due to COVID-19

  • Despite the easing of some restrictions, the pandemic is not over. GP practices are still open and are now busier than ever before. Practices may not yet able to deliver the same level of service as they did before the pandemic. but they may be offering services as result of experiences gained during the pandemic.
  • It is vital that we protect staff, patients and people in our communities by keeping physical contact to a minimum. Practices are prioritising the patients who have the greatest clinical need and are the most vulnerable, and introducing measures to help limit the number of people in the practice at any one time for safety reasons.


Requests for appointments may be triaged. Triaging is a really important process because it means that people are being seen in the safest way possible for them. This means a clinician will assess what is the most appropriate for each patient.

  • Who needs to be seen in person
  • Who can have a telephone consultation
  • Who can be seen via video call
  • Who can get the right care from a community pharmacist

There may be fewer face to face appointments available because infection control procedures in place, such as enhanced cleaning between patients. This also means appointments take longer. These procedures are vital – people coming into GP practices are already unwell.


GP reception staff are a vital part of the health care team and may ask personal questions to direct you to the best support.  This was the case even before the pandemic.  Many GP practices have highly skilled multi-disciplinary team members within the practice including nurses, mental health practitioners, physiotherapists and pharmacy staff.  You will be directed to the right person who can provide you with the right care. You do not need to state why you want to see/speak to the clinician.


Our health services are still under enormous pressure. 

  • Self-help information is available at
  • In a medical emergency, always dial 999 and ask for an ambulance. If you need emergency care but are not in imminent danger, you should call 111.