Common Ailments Service

Common Ailments Service (CAS)
– Information for Healthcare Professionals

The Common Ailments Service (CAS) is a scheme offered by local pharmacies that should be considered as an alternative to a GP referral. It provides patients with free NHS advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses.

On this page
1. Who can access the Common Ailments Service
2. Conditions included in the Common Ailments Service
3. More information
4. Patient Group Directions

The following information is for healthcare professionals. Members of the public and patients can find information here.

Who can access the Common Ailments Service

The service is designed to provide advice and treatment to those with a common ailment. Any patient who is remaining in Wales for 24 hours after accessing the service is eligible to receive treatment through CAS.

Condition-specific exclusions do apply in some situations. These are based on age, pregnancy or breastfeeding, and clinical exclusions. Exclusion criteria can be found on the condition monograph in the CAS formulary or in the Quick Reference Guide below.

Conditions included in the Common Ailments Service

The following 27 conditions are included within the Common Ailments Service:

  1. Acne vulgaris
  2. Allergic rhinitis
  3. Athlete’s foot
  4. Back pain (lower, acute)
  5. Chickenpox (in children under 14 years of age)
  6. Cold sores
  7. Colic (infantile)
  8. Conjunctivitis (bacterial)
  9. Constipation
  10. Diarrhoea
  11. Dry eye disease
  12. Dry skin including dermatitis and atopic eczema
  13. Dyspepsia
  14. Haemorrhoids
  1. Head lice
  2. Ingrowing toenail
  3. Mouth ulcers (simple aphthous)
  4. Nappy rash
  5. Oral thrush
  6. Ringworm, tinea cruris and intertrigo
  7. Scabies
  8. Sore throat
  9. Teething
  10. Threadworms
  11. Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  12. Vulvovaginal thrush
  13. Warts and verrucae

Patients suffering with a condition that is not included above will not be able to receive advice or treatment through the Common Ailments Service. However, a pharmacist may still be able to advise them on their condition and recommend possible over the counter treatments for them to buy.

Patients suffering with an eye condition should visit their local optometrist first. A free NHS eye exam may be available. More information and a list of opticians that offer a free eye check can be found here.

More information

For more information, please find our Quick Reference Guide here (also available in Welsh). This includes more detail on the conditions covered by the service.

Additional patient information can be found on our Common Ailments Service – patient information page. This page also contains patient information leaflets for all of the conditions, available in English and Welsh.

Patient Group Directions (PGDs)

Below are PGD templates for pharmacists delivering the Common Ailment Service component of the Clinical Community Pharmacy Service. These PGDs are not legal or valid without authorisation by the Local Health Board in which they are operating.

Local contractors should access their locally adopted versions of the PGDs via their Local Health Board PGD pages.

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Change history

17 Jun 24

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) service resources added

18 Sep 23