Ordering repeat prescriptions in advance, using the pharmacy for minor ailments and pharmacy opening hours

With the festive holiday season and feelings of good cheer just around the corner, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people to take a few simple steps that might help avoid some festive perils.

Teresa Middleton, Deputy Director of Quality advises, “It is wise to be prepared and make sure you have any prescriptions and medicines you might need before the holiday season starts. It’s a good idea to order your regular prescriptions in advance.

Doctors’ surgeries will be closed on all the public holidays, so anyone with a repeat prescription needs to make sure they collect enough medication to last them throughout the festive period. And remember to take your prescribed medication with you if you are visiting family or friends.”

Most community pharmacies can also help patients who need an urgent prescription for a supply of their normal prescribed medicines that they may have run out of. Instead of going to the out of hours service or A&E, patients can simply request their medicines from the local pharmacy, even if they are on holiday or visiting family.

Teresa also recommends keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home, with medicines such as paracetamol which can treat a number of everyday illnesses.

GP and Quality Lead with the CCG, Dr Charles Buckley, said:

“Using pressurised services sensibly and appropriately over the Christmas and New Year period will benefit everyone. Your local pharmacy is a helpful first port of call for less serious conditions, where pharmacists are available to give confidential advice without an appointment.”

Pharmacists are experts on medicines, and are qualified to give advice on things like coughs, colds, flu-like symptoms, sore throats, aches and pains, minor sprains and stomach upsets. They can also advise on whether a trip to the doctor, or hospital, is necessary.

Information about pharmacy opening hours over the festive and New Year period can be found at www.choosewellglos.nhs.uk.

People can also get advice on which NHS services to use by calling NHS 111.