With Christmas just around the corner, health professionals in Lancashire and South Cumbria are urging people to stock up their medicine cabinets and order repeat prescriptions in good time.
Most GP practices and pharmacies will be closed or have limited opening hours over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays, so making sure you have enough medication at home to cover the festive break is really important.
Dr Peter Gregory, associate medical director for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), the organisation that plans and buys health services for the region, is urging people not to leave it too late to get your prescription orders in, and also to keep your medicine cabinet topped up with everyday essentials to help deal with the winter months ahead.
He said: “Planning ahead for ordering and collecting repeat prescriptions is essential at a time when services are likely to be busier than normal. By ordering medicines as soon as possible, it allows enough time for it to be processed and dispensed and helps avoid a last-minute rush.
“Make a note of your local pharmacy’s opening times over Christmas, and now is also a good time to stock up on home medicine basics so that you can make the most of the festive period.
“Coughs and colds, as well as COVID-19, are extremely common at this time of year, so pain relief such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen is useful to keep at home to cope with aches, pains and high temperatures. Indigestion relief remedies, anti-diarrhoea tablets and oral rehydration salts are also good to have to hand, as well as a first aid kit, including a thermometer and ice and heat packs for pain – especially when slips and falls are more likely in frosty conditions.”
You can order repeat prescriptions online, through the NHS App or through your GP surgery.
A small number of pharmacies will be open over Christmas and New Year and can dispense emergency prescriptions. Use the NHS find a pharmacy tool to find your nearest pharmacy or contact NHS 111 online or over the phone if you are in urgent need.
Those eligible should also book flu and COVID-19 vaccinations – especially if you are attending parties or visiting family – rather than putting it off until the new year. To find out if you are eligible, and to book, visit healthierlsc.co.uk/getmyjab.