AIM • To measure the incidence of nine minor ailments in community pharmacy and to compare aspects of their presentation and management in that setting. DESIGN • Data were collected by pharmacy staff using a short data collection form over two separate one-week periods. Data were collected on the presenting features and the management of acne, cold sore, cystitis, diarrhoea, hay fever, head lice, indigestion, red eye and vaginal thrush. SUBJECTS AND SETTING • 18 community pharmacies in the North of England, which were members of a community pharmacy research panel. OUTCOME MEASURES • Data on presentation, management and outcome of pharmacy minor ailment consultations as indicated on data collection forms. RESULTS • The findings from this study indicate that the nine minor ailments showed marked variation in incidence, in the number of proxy consultations, the percentage of customers demanding a product by name and in rates of direct referral to GPs and other health professionals. CONCLUSION • The Government is currently supporting moves to transfer the management of minor ailments from GPs to community pharmacists and other community-based health professionals. This small-scale study suggests that the minor ailments selected are not homogenous and vary in their incidence, presentation and management within community pharmacy. Further larger-scale work is needed to inform the debate on the management of minor ailments.
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|Published - 31 Mar 2001