GPs and pharmacists are urging people to plan ahead for the August Bank holiday by ordering their repeat prescriptions in advance.
People living in the North East and North Cumbria are being reminded to #DoYourBit over the extended weekend by organising any repeat medication in plenty of time.
Dr Neil O’Brien, executive medical director for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) said: “Taking daily medication is a vitally important part of treatment for those with long-term health problems and people can become seriously ill, quite quickly, if they run out.
“The best way to avoid this is to make sure that anyone who needs regular medication plans ahead, to ensure they have everything they need before the bank holiday weekend begins.
“Remember many GP practices and pharmacies will have limited opening hours over the bank holiday weekend, making it more challenging for patients to access medicines at short notice.
“By re-stocking medicine cabinets, knowing when your GP practice is open and planning ahead for repeat prescriptions, people can ensure they make the most of the bank holiday weekend.”
It can take up to 48 hours for most surgeries to process a repeat prescription.
Patients are advised to use the NHS App, visit their local pharmacy or GP surgery online ordering system to arrange repeat medication.
Pete Horrocks, superintendent pharmacist, Knights Pharmacy, Bishop Auckland, added: “If you do forget to order your prescriptions and need emergency medication over the bank holiday weekend – don’t panic help is available.
“You can go to any extended hours community pharmacy and they will help you if your medication is in stock.
“The online NHS pharmacy service search will show which pharmacies are available and your local ICB website will also have details of all opening hours over the bank holiday weekend.
“Making sure you have the right medication could make all the difference, so please don’t get caught out and order your repeat prescriptions in time.”
If people feel unwell over the bank holiday weekend, they can check their symptoms and get access to advice using 111.nhs.uk online. NHS 111 is a free service which runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.