'Free Calpol on the NHS': Parents react with delight after mother's Facebook post goes viral

There are around 70 Minor Ailments Scheme in operation across England

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The Independent Online

Thousands of parents have reacted with delight to the news they may be entitled to free Calpol for their children after a mother’s Facebook post went viral.

The NHS Minor Ailment scheme, introduced roughly ten years ago, allows patients from lower incomes with minor ailments to receive basic medications free from some local pharmacists without seeing a doctor.

Five days ago Christine Davidson posted on Facebook that “if you register your details with them under the 'minor ailments scheme' that all medicines etc. for children are free.”

Mrs Davison, who lives in Stornoway in Scotland, has since seen her post shared over 100,000 times, later writing beneath it: “Good grief I’ve got viral!”

For all the mammies and daddies - I was in Boots yesterday buying calpol and happened to complain to the cashier how expensive it is. She told me to my amazement that if you register your details with them under the 'minor ailments scheme' that all medicines etc. for children are free. A scheme that has been going for 8 years. They are not allowed to advertise it, but you can save a small fortune on calpol, piriton, sudocrem, plasters, etc.!! I wish I had known 8 years ago!

Posted by Christine Davidson on Friday, May 15, 2015

A spokesperson for NHS England confirmed the scheme to The Independent, but cautioned that it was “unlikely” that patients would get “branded medicine, like Calpol or Nurofen.”

In order to qualify for the Minor Ailment scheme patients must be eligible for free prescriptions and must have a specific minor ailment, as assessed by the pharmacist. Individuals over 60 but also children under the age of 18 and in fulltime education are eligible for free prescriptions.

The schemes are decided by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) depending on local needs. The NHS were unable to provide a full list of participating pharmacies, although around 70 such schemes are believed to be operating in England.

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