Many common illnesses are best treated at home - with the advice of a pharmacist

Following a public consultation, medicines that can be bought over-the-counter to treat minor illnesses and short-term conditions will no longer be routinely prescribed. You can buy medicines from your local pharmacist who has the clinical expertise to help you to manage your symptoms. 

In Hertfordshire, we spend over £6million every year prescribing medicines which patients could have bought for themselves. We all have a responsibility to ensure our NHS money is spent wisely to help as many people as possible. The NHS belongs to everybody. You can help by looking after yourself and your family, with support from your local pharmacist to treat minor illnesses.

Your expert pharmacist
Pharmacists are experts in medicines and you don’t need an appointment to see them. Many pharmacies are open during evenings and weekends so they are a convenient place to get health advice, instead of waiting for a GP appointment. Almost all pharmacies have a private consultation room. You can find your nearest pharmacy and also get advice and information on how to treat a range of common ailments by visiting

Click here for advice and information on how to treat a range of common illnesses, together with tips on medicine cabinet essentials to have at home.

click here for advice and information about treating hayfever

Early Requests / Travel Abroad

We are sometimes able to issue prescriptions early, for example, if you are going on holiday. You must indicate the reason for the early request. Failure to do so will result in the prescription not being issued. You will need to re-request it at the appropriate time.

The NHS accepts responsibility for supplying ongoing medication for temporary periods abroad of up to three months. If a person is going to be abroad for more than three months then only a sufficient supply of their regular medication should be provided to enable them to get to the destination and find an alternative supply. NHS prescriptions must never be obtained by relatives or friends on behalf of patients who are currently abroad, irrespective of such factors as owning a house in the UK or paying UK taxes. Patients are responsible for ensuring that any drugs they take into a country conform to local laws.

Medication Reviews

Please note that your medication must be reviewed at regular intervals. The date of your next review will be shown on your prescription. Your review can be carried out by a doctor or another appropriately qualified healthcare professional, such as a Practice Nurse or Clinical Pharmacist (the reception staff will advise you which). If your review becomes overdue there may be a delay in issuing your medication although we will never withhold it. 

You will be unable to request medication online until your review has been done.  Should you need your medication issuing before your review is booked please contact the Surgery and we can request the issue for you.

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Prescription Fees

Help with NHS costs

In England, around 90% of prescription items are dispensed free. This includes exemptions from charging for those on low incomes, such as:

  • those on specific benefits or through the NHS Low Income Scheme
  • those who are age exempt
  • those with certain medical conditions
  • More information is available at NHS Choices

NHS Charges

These charges apply in England only. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales prescriptions are free of charge.

In England, there is charge per item on your prescription.

If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months or more than 14 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a pre-payment certificate (PPC).

There is further information about prescription exemptions, charges, fees and PPCs on the NHS Business Services Authority website.