Can you get free Calpol?


Did you know there is a scheme called The NHS Minor Ailment Scheme?

It is available in pharmacies in Scotland and Northern Island, and selected Boots stores in England and Wales.

kai poorly cropped

If you or your child do not pay for prescriptions, you can use the NHS Minor Ailment Service for free advice and medicines.

Minor ailments could include coughs, colds, headaches, hay fever, insect bites and stings, eczema, earache and diarrhoea.

So, apparently, this means you can get such medicines as Calpol, Piriton, Sudocrem and more FREE!

Speak to your Boots pharmacist who will be able to tell you if the Minor Ailments service could be suitable for you and your family.

This is an NHS service, only available in certain Boots stores, so not every store will be able to treat the same list of minor ailments.

But it is definitely worth asking!

For more info visit Boots

It is also worth checking with your local pharmacy to see if they offer this too.

I understand that although this scheme has been running for over 8 years, it is not widely advertised.

NB – (I have added this after publishing), I do NOT agree with people who can afford to pay for these medicines claiming them from the NHS. This is a little known service that can genuinely help families who struggle to buy them. 

This is not in collaboration, this is for information. We have not been paid for this post.


  1. I think it’s a great thing to know for parents who can’t afford it but nothing is ever really free and this is funded by the NHS so those who can should buy it. Save the NHS!
    Sisley White recently posted…Outlander – Book to TV ShowMy Profile

  2. It’s important to point out that the medicines you will receive will not be branded, they will be generic paracetamol-suspension, antihistamine etc. which is no less effective but not at the same worth. They’re not allowed to advertise the scheme (I have known about it myself for a long while), and I believe it is something healthcare professionals are advised to only inform people who are in genuine need such as impoverished. If you can afford to pay, then you should as £2 for a bottle of paracetamol suspension is nothing to most but a struggle to find for some.
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  3. I’m in two minds about this whole Calpol situation that is all over the news right now. I agree that people on low income should be entitled to free healthcare if it is necessary and they can prove that they have no alternative ways of paying, but I do worry that this recent bout of publicity will attract those who just want a freebie and do have alternative means of paying. As someone who spends several hundred pounds a year on medicines which will a) save my life and b) stop my illness progressing so that I’m not disabled, it upsets me that people go out of their way to get every little bit from the NHS and then there’s others that have illnesses that cannot be prevented and the NHS can’t help them due to lack of funding.

    I just think people should think whether they truly need it before using this service – if they really do, then it’s fair enough.
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  4. I have known about this since my girls had their heart surgery a few years ago. We were going through a lot of Calpol at the time and for two of them it was costing a fortune so we did take advantage of it for a few bottles but I know people who abuse this….For the head lice lotion too. They sell it on which is so wrong!
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  5. I heard about this when I had my son and for us we knew that if we needed to buy supplies for our son, we would pay out of our own pocket. If parents can afford booze and cigarettes then they can afford calpol for their poorly child. Unfortunately it seems people will take the mick a bit and get something for nothing.
    Emma Shilton recently posted…Week 41 on the Slimming World scalesMy Profile

  6. I think this scheme works best as a way of encouraging people to seek advice from a pharmacist for ailments that don’t need advice from a doctor which would save the NHS money in some areas rather than encouraging people to get things for free if they can afford to buy them.
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