Your local pharmacy doesn’t just dispense prescriptions. Your local pharmacy offers advice and treatment across a range of things including minor ailments, vaccinations, emergency contraception, and actionable ways to stop smoking. Over 60,000 people get help from a community pharmacy every day in Wales so next time you’re needing support, consider your local pharmacy rather than your GP.  Here are six reasons from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CAVUHB) to visit your pharmacy.

1. Common Aliments service

If you need advice or over-the-counter treatment for a minor illness such as a cough, cold or fever, or treatment for common ailments, you can access everything you need at your local pharmacy. Community pharmacies across the area covered by CAVUHB offer a Common Ailments Service with advice and treatment for 26 common conditions. The full list includes: acne, athlete’s foot, back pain, chickenpox, cold sores, colic, conjunctivitis, constipation, diarrhoea, dry eyes, dermatitis, haemorrhoids, hay fever, head lice, indigestion, ingrowing toenails, ringworm, mouth ulcers, nappy rash, oral thrush, scabies, sore throat/tonsillitis, teething, threadworms, vaginal thrush, and verrucae.

Here are the top 10 common ailments seen in community pharmacies across Cardiff and Vale University Health Board:



Fact – Of the 12,804 CAS consultations last year 10,444 people (81%) stated if they had not visited community pharmacy, they would have made an appointment with a GP, Nurse or other Health Care profession So, if you think your issue relates to something like the list above, contact your pharmacy before your GP.


2. Flu Vaccinations

Your local pharmacy offers flu vaccinations.  The flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect against flu, and it will help protect vulnerable members of your community, your family and your colleagues this winter. Free flu jabs are available from your participating local pharmacy from around October each year for those who are at risk to protect against catching flu and developing serious complications.

The annual flu vaccine is available from your local pharmacy and is offered for free on the NHS to a number of eligible groups of people. Check here if you’re eligible.

Fact – Total flu vaccines administered in 2021-22 flu season were 25,006 in community pharmacies in the CAVUHB area.


3. Smoking Cessation

What does smoking cessation mean? Smoking cessation refers to activities that aim to support people who want to stop smoking.

‘Help Me Quit’ is the new single point of access for all NHS stop smoking services across Wales. It is estimated that two thirds of smokers would like to quit, and you are four times more likely to give up smoking by combining help from a specialist NHS support service with a stop smoking medication.

Type of support available

  • HMQ services at Community Pharmacies
  • Stop Smoking Wales Groups
  • Stop Smoking Wales One to One
  • Stop Smoking Wales Phone Support
  • Hospital services for pregnant women and selected patient groups

Fact – From October to December 2021 nearly 200 people accessed smoking cessation services in community pharmacies across the CAVUHB area.


4. Contraception services

Did you know that your local pharmacy offers over the counter products such as condoms and pregnancy tests, and around 103 CAVUHB pharmacies now offer emergency contraception? There is also an opportunity in the area covered by CAVUHB to receive oral contraception services that allows the pharmacist to prescribe regular oral contraception and offer sexual health advice currently available in five sites across CAVUHB

Our five community pharmacy contraception sites provided 1,594 patients with contraception in the last 12 months.


5. Independent prescriber service 2021-22

This service allows pharmacist independent prescribers to assess you within their community pharmacy, and prescribe the necessary medication, without the need for you to make an appointment with a GP. This can be for things like ear infections, sore throats and UTIs and contraception for example.


Fact – Around 2,600 prescriber-based consultations were done in community pharmacy during 2021-22. 2,394 patients stated they would have made an appointment with a GP or other Health Care profession, which is 92% if the service was not available in community pharmacy.

846 consultations were for minor ailments such as Ear infections, UTIs and sore throats and were provided from six community pharmacy sites across CAVUHB from June 2021


6. Helping you to manage your medicines

Pharmacies can help you when you need to order your prescriptions, remembering to allow at least 7 days, and only ordering what you need at that time. The pharmacy teams are there for you to discuss any problems you have with your medicines, and some of the pharmacies in the area covered by CAVUHB have automated collection points too, allowing 24-hour collection.

During the next year your prescription may be reviewed at your GP practice to see if the number of days’ medication you are provided with could be extended, if appropriate. This could help reduce the number of trips you have to make to your GP or community pharmacy and free up more time for them to provide other services to you.


Fact – We have 106 pharmacies across the area covered by CAVUHB who can dispense your medication and provide further advice on your medicines. If in doubt whether to visit your pharmacy or GP, feel free to call your local pharmacy and they will be able to direct you to the right place, first time.


The way you access NHS services has changed but we are still here for you. As part of the Help Us Help You campaign, NHS Wales is encouraging people to help ease NHS pressures by getting to know the different ways you can access the NHS. You can get the right help at the right time by checking online using NHS 111 Wales. Every change you make will help us help you.


To find your local pharmacy, visit


Please remember that a community pharmacy is a health care setting and therefore masks should currently still be worn.