BARNSLEY GPs are thought to be handling more than double the amount of hay fever cases compared to this time last year.

However, rather than visit the GP, Barnsley residents have been asked to use the 'Pharmacyfirst' tool for advice and information.

Dr Nick Balac, GP and chair of NHS Barnsley CCG, said: "When very high pollen levels are forecast we're encouraging people to visit the local pharmacist and take advantage of our Pharmacyfirst scheme rather than visit their GP.

"Pharmacies are able to offer expert, confidential advice and treatment for a whole range of minor conditions.

"By visiting pharmacists for minor conditions such as hay fever, this will free up GP time for dealing with more complex conditions." 

If you're registered with a Barnsley GP, you can go to a participating pharmacy to receive advice and treatment rather than having to wait for an appointment.

Any medicine supplied will cost less than an NHS prescription if you pay for it, or be free if you don’t normally pay for prescriptions.

Click here for more information.