WITH the festive season just around the corner health and care teams are urging people to make sure they have one thing ordered well in advance of the holidays – their repeat prescriptions!
People across the North East and North Cumbria are being reminded to enjoy the season in good health by ordering any prescribed medication before the Christmas holidays – when some GP practices and community pharmacies may be closed.
Dr Neil O’Brien, GP and medical director for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) said: “Christmas is fast approaching so we are asking patients to remember not to leave it to the last minute to order any repeat medication and to only order what they really need.
“A lot of people require repeat medication to manage long-term conditions and most remember to order and collect their prescriptions when they are due, which is extremely helpful and very much appreciated, however in the build up to Christmas, when people are especially busy, it can be easy to forget and this may lead to problems.
“GP practices will only be closed for an additional three days over the holiday period, so a little forward planning should avoid any problems.
“If you know that your medication is due over Christmas and New Year, please remember to re-order your prescription now while there is still plenty time for it to be processed and dispensed.”
- GP practices will be closed on Monday December 26th, Tuesday 27th and Monday 2nd January
- It can take up to 48 hours for most surgeries to process a repeat prescription and a further three days for pharmacies to process.
“And please remember to only order what you really need,” added Dr O’Brien.
“You don’t need to order ‘just in case’ or get every item listed on your prescription each time, if you’ve got enough of one medicine then please don’t order it – you can still request it if you need it in the future.”
Patients are advised to use the NHS App, or visit their local pharmacy or GP surgery online ordering system to arrange a repeat medication.
Ewan Maule, director of medicines and pharmacy for the North East and North Cumbria ICB added: “If you do forget to order your prescriptions and need emergency medication over the Christmas holidays – 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 local ICB websites and social media channels will also have details of all opening hours over the holidays.
“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.”
People are also being reminded to check to ensure they have a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home, to be prepared to help them and their families through the season’s most common illnesses.
“Many winter ailments clear up on their own and can be treated with simple over the counter products from your local pharmacy, added Mr Maule.
“We recommend stocking up on some simple remedies including paracetamol and ibuprofen so you can treat any common ailments such as colds, sore throat and coughs at home.”
How to order your repeat prescription
1. Order online via your GP Practice website – you need to be registered with your practice for this.
2. Order through the NHS App – download the app from Google Play or the App store, you can register without having to visit your practice. More information on the NHS App is available on the nhs.uk website.
3. Order in person, at your GP Practice – simply tick the medicines required on the white, tear-off section of your prescription and drop it into your GP Practice, ask a relative or friend to drop it in for you, or post it. Many practices have a box outside so you don’t need to go into the practice building to do this.
NHS111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days week, to offer help and advice on a whole range of medical problems when your GP surgery is closed.