Plan ahead and order repeat prescriptions before Christmas
With less than a month to go until Christmas, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are urging patients not to leave it to the last minute to order repeat prescriptions before local GP practices and pharmacies close for the holidays.
The NHS 111 service receive hundreds of calls every Christmas from patients who have run out of medication, which puts additional pressure on busy urgent care and out of hours NHS services.
Local GP and clinical commissioning group lead for urgent care Dr Peter Goyder, said: “Many people need repeat medication to manage long-term conditions and most do remember to order and collect their prescriptions well in advance of Christmas, which is very helpful and appreciated.
“We know how busy this time of year can be for people though and that it can be easy to forget about those other ‘essentials’ such as prescription medicines. We would urge patients to check their current medication now and take stock to see if they have enough to last over the holiday period and into the New Year.
Peter added, “By ordering your medicines early you will be able to ensure that there is enough time for it to be processed and dispensed as well as helping the NHS to reduce pressure on busy urgent care services over the Christmas period.”
James Head, clinical lead for Care UK, provider of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire’s NHS 111 service, said: “Planning ahead like this is very important to help people stay well and it also helps the NHS at a time when services are extremely busy. One of the most common reasons why patients called the NHS 111 telephone helpline last Christmas was because they had run out of their prescription medicines.
“With many GP practices closed for the holidays, the out-of-hours GPs are already working flat out seeing patients with urgent health issues so we really don’t want them using their precious time writing repeat prescriptions for patients who could have seen their GP before the holidays.”
Further advice on how to stay well over the winter period can be found at www.staywell.nhs.uk
Details of local NHS services including local pharmacy opening hours for the holiday period can be found on the on the CCG websites.