Self help for minor illness Common ailments can often be treated by yourself at home using medicines that are available over the counter from your local pharmacy (chemist) or supermarket. NHS 111 can provide advice on their web site or on the phone and your local pharmacist can also advise you on minor illnesses Find a pharmacy Pharmacists are qualified to offer advice on many common ailments. Search for your local pharmacy using your postcode on the NHS website: Service search. Free medicines without a prescription For many common conditions you can use the Feel Better Fast scheme to get certain medicines from a pharmacy without a prescription. If you get free prescriptions the medicines are free. Otherwise you pay the usual prescription charge or the normal selling price of the medicines, whichever is lower.