With just over three weeks to go until Christmas day, local doctors are encouraging people to order their repeat prescriptions in time to cover the festive break.
Most GP practices and pharmacies will be closed over the Christmas bank holidays, restricting options for obtaining emergency prescriptions.
Each year the NHS 111 service is contacted by hundreds of people who have run out of medication, adding additional pressure on busy urgent care and out of hours NHS services.
Dr Shaba Nabi, the CCG’s Clinical Lead for Prescribing, said:
“While the vast majority of people do order and collect their repeat prescriptions well in advance of Christmas, there are still many who forget or leave it to the last minute.
“We‘re urging people to take a few minutes now to check their current medication levels to see if they have enough to last over the holiday period and into the New Year.
“By ordering medicines as soon as possible, it allows enough time for it to be processed and dispensed, and saves people the worry of having to arrange an emergency prescription.”
Ordering repeat prescriptions can also be done online with many GP practices. Getting regular prescriptions online can save patients time and avoid unnecessary trips to the GP.
Use the ‘services near you’ search nhs.uk/service-search to check whether a GP or pharmacy currently provides this service.
Not too late for flu vaccination
People with long-term health conditions, pregnant women, over-65s, all primary school aged children, and carers are all eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS.
The flu can be serious or even deadly for these groups, especially those living with a long-term health condition.
According to Public Health England figures, only 22 per cent of people under the age of 65 with a long-term health condition have taken up their free flu jab so far this year. This means more than 90,000 people are putting themselves at risk of serious illness.
The vaccine is the best defence we have against what can be a serious illness, helping to reduce the likelihood of contracting flu, the spread of flu and the severity of the condition if it is contracted.
To arrange a free flu jab, contact your local GP practice or your local pharmacy.
For anyone not eligible for a free flu jab, it is still possible to get vaccinated at a relatively low cost. Pharmacies offer a flu vaccination for a small fee of approximately £10.