Free sore throat checks for children most at risk of getting rheumatic fever available at a number of local pharmacies and medical centres. 

What is rheumatic fever?

Rheumatic fever is a serious but preventable illness. It mainly affects Māori and Pacific children and young people (aged 4 and above), especially if they have other family members who have had rheumatic fever.

Rheumatic fever starts with a sore throat that is known as ‘strep throat’ – a throat infection caused by a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus.

Most sore throats get better on their own, but if strep throat is not treated with antibiotics it can develop into rheumatic fever where the heart, joints, brain and skin become inflamed and swollen. 

Because rheumatic fever is such a serious illness, all sore throats in Māori and Pacific children and young people (aged 4 and above) need to be checked.

Free sore throat clinics

Free sore throat clinics are available to people at high risk of developing rheumatic fever who live in Hutt Valley, Wellington or Porirua. 

Free sore throat checks, are available to:

  • Māori and Pacific children and young adults, aged 4 to 19 years-old and are enrolled in a general practice in Hutt Valley, Wellington or Porirua
  • Anyone aged 4 to 19 years-old with a family history of rheumatic fever
  • Anyone living in crowded circumstances

Your child's school may also offer a free sore throat clinic - check with your school.

Otherwise you can go to your family doctor or nurse to get a sore throat checked but you may have to pay a fee. Call your family doctor to check if you are eligible for a free throat check. 

What does the service provide?

A nurse or pharmacist will check your child’s sore throat, take their temperature and note other symptoms like a cough or runny nose.

Your child will be offered antibiotic treatment if their symptoms indicate a strep throat infection rather than a cold. Children/young adults with a sore throat caused by a cold usually have a cough, hoarseness, red eyes, and runny nose (usually not seen with strep throat). For this reason these patients will not be offered antibiotic treatment.

Pharmacies and medical centres offering free sore throat checks are listed below.

Hutt Valley pharmacies - Free sore throat clinics

Clive’s Chemist

20-21 Queen St, Wainuiomata

Mon-Thu 9am-5.30pm
Fri 9am-6pm
Sat 9am-2pm

Life Pharmacy Queensgate

Queensgate Mall, Lower Hutt

Mon-Wed 8.30am-6pm
Thu-Fri 8.30pm-9pm
Sat 9am-6pm Sun 10am-5.30pm

Moera Pharmacy

139 Randwick Road, Moera

Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm
Sat 9.30am-12.30pm

Naenae Pharmacy

29 Hillary Court, Naenae

Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm
Sat 9am-1pm

Taita Pharmacy

1206 High Street, Taita

Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm
Sat 9.30am-12.30pm

Unichem Maidstone Pharmacy

53 Main Street, Upper Hutt

Mon-Fri 8am-7pm
Sat-Sun 9am-4pm

Unichem Owles Pharmacy

45 Everest Avenue, Naenae

Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm
Sat 9am-1pm

Unichem Petone Pharmacy

240 Jackson Street, Petone

Mon-Wed 8.30am-5.30pm
Thu-Fri 8.30am-6.00pm
Sat-Sun 9am-3pm

Unichem Upper Hutt Pharmacy

723 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt

Mon-Fri 8.30am-6.30pm
Sat-Sun 9am-5pm

Wainuiomata Pharmacy

8 The Strand, Wainuiomata

Mon-Tues, Thurs-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm
Wed 8.30am-6.30pm
Sat 9am-4pm Sun 10am-4pm

Waterloo Pharmacy

1 Trafalgar Square, Waterloo

Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm
Sat 9am-12pm

Woburn Pharmacy

66 Whites Line East, Waiwhetu

Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm
Sat 9.30am-12pm

Hutt Valley medical centres - Free sore throat clinics

After Hours Medical Centre729 High Street, Lower HuttMon-Fri 6pm-11pm
Sat-Sun 8am-11pm
High Street Health Hub577 High Street, Lower HuttMon-Fri 8am-6pm
Hutt City Health Centre5 Raroa Road, Lower HuttMon-Thu 8am-7pm
Fri 8am-6pm
(appointment necessary)
Hutt City Wainuiomata5 Fitzherbert Road, WainuiomataMon-Fri 8am-5.30pm
(appointment necessary)
Hutt Union Community Health Services Pomare Petone Taita51 Farmer Crescent, Pomare
451 Jackson Street, Petone
1205 High Street, Taita
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
(appointment necessary)
Naenae Medical Centre39 Treadwell Street, NaenaeMon-Fri 8.30am-5pm
(appointment necessary)
Stokes Valley Medical Centre180 Stokes Valley Road, Stokes ValleyMon-Fri 9am-5.30pm
(appointment necessary)
Whai Oranga Health Centre7 The Strand, WainuiomataMon-Fri 8.30am-5pm
(appointment necessary)

Porirua and Wellington medical centres - Free sore throat clinics

Cannons Creek Medical Centre178 Bedford Street, Cannons Creek Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm
Mungavin Medical Centre7 Mungavin Ave, Porirua EastMon-Fri 8.30am-5pm
Takapuwahia Medical Centres 1 Te Hiko Street, TakapūwāhiaMon-Fri 8.30am-5pm
Waitangirua practiceCo-located with Cannons Creek: 178 Bedford Street, Cannons CreekMon-Fri 8.30am-5pm
Titahi Bay Doctors3 Whitehouse Rd, Titahi BayMon-Fri 8.30am-5pm
Titahi Bay Surgery76 Main Road, Titahi BayMon-Fri 8.30am-5pm
Whitby DoctorsWhitby Mall, Discovery DriveMon, Wed-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm
Tues 8.30am-8pm
Linden Surgery49 Hinau Street, LindenMon-Tues, Thu-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm
Wed 8.30am-8pm
Mana Medical Centre107 The Esplanade, ParemataMon-Thu 8am-6pm
Fri 8am-5pm
Pacific Health Plus 4 Bedford Court, Cannons CreekMon-Fri 9am-5.30-pm
Plimmerton Medical Centre10 Steyne Avenue, PlimmertonMon-Fri 8.30am-5pm
Tawa Medical Centre17 Rewa Terrace, TawaMon-Fri 8am-5pm
Porirua Union Community Health Service (PUCHS)221 Bedford Street, Cannons CreekMon-Tue, Thu-Fri 8.30am-6pm
Wed 8am-6pm

Well Homes

Well Homes is designed to support whānau to live in a warm, dry and safe home.

Well Homes links whānau to services such as insulation, heating, curtains, beds, bedding, carpets, rugs, financial assistance and social housing providers. Well Homes supports whānau who hold a community services card and have a child or children who have a respiratory condition. To find out if your family is eligible for support visit the Well Homes page on this website:

Regional Public Health | Well Homes 

Further information

Further information on sore throats and rheumatic fever is available by visiting the following websites:

Ministry of Health | Rheumatic Fever

Last updated 29 July 2022.