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Minor Ailment scheme in Scotland

(14 Posts)
Fanjoishoos Thu 12-Jun-14 16:10:04

Can someone clear this up for me? My understanding is that the scheme can be used by anyone who does not pay for prescriptions i.e. in Scotland that's everyone. Is that not the case? I've just been to collect some creams and asked about the MAS - the ailment is covered so I didn't think there was any issue. When I collected the items the pharmacy then made an issue over the fact this only applies to people in receipt of certain benefits. I didn't really understand that as I'd been told yes to registering the scheme but then questioned over the exemption?

TheBogQueen Thu 12-Jun-14 16:15:10

No I think minor ailments is for children under 16 or people on benefits. If GP prescribes then it's feed but I don't think you can independently purchase medication under the scheme if you are not one of those groups.

So, I think, it needs to be prescribed for it to be free.

Fanjoishoos Thu 12-Jun-14 16:18:19

Thanks. That seems odd logic - I thought the point was to save going to the GP for minor ailments - if you only get free prescription after seeing the GP, it kind of defeats the purpose does it not?

WeeClype Thu 12-Jun-14 16:19:04

I alway thought it was under 16's too.

peggyundercrackers Thu 12-Jun-14 16:21:33

my understanding is the same as thebogqueen - its only for kids and people on benefits.

ilovepowerhoop Thu 12-Jun-14 16:23:14 - says:

You can use the NHS Minor Ailment Service if:

*you are registered with a GP surgery in Scotland, and
*you are under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education
*you are 60 or over
*you have a valid maternity exemption certificate, medical exemption certificate, or war pension exemption certificate
*you get Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit Guarantee Credit, or
*you are named on, or entitled to, an NHS tax credit exemption certificate or a valid HC2 certificate.

You can't use the NHS Minor Ailment Service if you live in a care home.

Fanjoishoos Thu 12-Jun-14 16:26:11


I can't find anything on official NHS Scotland website but this link to Boots website says anyone who doesn't pay for prescription - which in Scotland is everyone. It makes no reference to being in receipt of certain benefits.

I genuinely thought it was a scheme out in place to save taking up GP's time with minor ailments, not a scheme aimed at under 16/anyone in receipt of certain benefits.

Well at least I know now.

Fanjoishoos Thu 12-Jun-14 16:27:10

Crossed posts there. Thanks, I couldn't find anything official on it.

TheBogQueen Thu 12-Jun-14 16:32:03

It foesn't defeat purpose - you can still buy remedies over the counter. The GP might not prescribe what you want

sweetkitty Thu 12-Jun-14 16:44:47

I used the Minor Ailment system last week for eye drops for myself, I don't receive any benefits.

Use it for the DC all the time, headlice lotion, paracetamol & ibuprofen suspensions, eye drops, verruca cream, eczema creams etc

Fanjoishoos Thu 12-Jun-14 16:58:52

TheBogQueen I think the point is, while I could buy OTC stuff I want, I can get a free prescription from my GP if I take up his time with an appointment, so I don't have that expense. I did think this scheme was designed to be a way around clogging up GP surgeries for a prescription on a minor ailment that can easily be addressed by a pharmacist via this scheme, cutting out GP appointment. It makes sense to be able to register at a pharmacy near your place of work for instance, if you aren't close to your GP during the day but maybe need certain items that you would normally need a prescription for and can pop out at lunchtime.

I get that I've misunderstood the remit, but I think it would make sense to open it up beyond the remit it has just now, to ease the number of GP appts for minor ailments.

TheBogQueen Thu 12-Jun-14 17:31:45

As I said:GP may not prescribe what you are after. They may decide to just let things run their course. Or recommend you buy an over the counter remedy.

Also I suppose if you are not a child or in receipt of benefits you could reasonably afford to pay fur what you need for a minor ailment.

peggyundercrackers Sat 14-Jun-14 13:01:29

i suffer badly from hayfever - I could get tablets from gp for it but they are cheap and easy to get - I wouldn't dream of getting them on prescription although I could if I wanted too.

I don't believe GPs should hand out prescriptions for over the counter medicine

Loupee Sat 14-Jun-14 13:20:50

It's free for people who wouldn't pay for prescriptions if we still charged for prescriptions in Scotland. So children and those on certain benefits. The scheme was brought in when prescriptions were still charged for in Scotland and the rules around the scheme hasn't changed.
As Boots is a national chain it probably hasn't bothered updating their site regarding Scotland.
Also different pharmacies have different rules as to what they dispense on MAS, particularly brand wise. So it shouldn't be a case of going in, choosing your products and asking to get them on MAS, you should present your symptoms to the pharmacist and if you qualify for MAS they can tell you what products are available for you.
The general idea being that if you are not on certain benefits, in theory, you should be able to afford your own OTC medications. If you need a prescription medicine you can get it free, and those who may not be able to afford OTC medications are still able to access them without clogging up the GPs.
The advice and recommendations from a pharmacist are also free to all.

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