GPs and pharmacists are urging people to plan ahead for the Jubilee Bank holiday by ordering their repeat prescriptions well in advance to avoid additional pressure on NHS services.
People living across the North East and North Cumbria are being reminded to #DoYourBit over the forthcoming Jubilee bank holiday weekend by organising any repeat medication in plenty of time.
Dr Neil O’Brien, executive medical director for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board said: “During the May bank holiday weekend 1,548 people contacted NHS111 for help after forgetting to order their repeat prescription.
“Last year the service took over 6,290 calls from patients who had run out of medication over the extended holiday weekends.
“Taking daily medication is a vitally important part of treatment for those with long-term health problems and people can become seriously ill, quite quickly, if they run out.
“The best way to avoid this is to ensure that anyone who needs regular medication plans ahead and ensures they have everything they need before the holiday weekend begins.
“Remember 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. Arranging your repeat prescription before you run out will help to avoid any additional pressure on this vital service, especially over the busy bank holiday weekend”.
GP practices will be closed from Thursday June 2 until Monday June 6.
It can take up to 48 hours for most surgeries to process a repeat prescription.
Patients are advised to use the NHS App, visit their local pharmacy or GP surgery online ordering system to arrange repeat medication.
Pete Horrocks, superintendent pharmacist, Knights Pharmacy, Bishop Auckland, added: “If you do forget to order your prescriptions and need emergency medication over the bank holiday weekend – 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 NHS Clinical Commissioning Group websites will also have details of all opening hours over the bank holiday weekend.
“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.”