Tuesday 16 July 2024
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Plan ahead for the May Bank Holiday weekends to avoid running out of medication

The local NHS is reminding people to plan ahead for the bank holidays in May and order your repeat prescriptions in time.

With the first bank holiday being on Monday 1 May, the second being for the King’s Coronation on Monday 8 May and the third on Monday 29 May, patients will need to start thinking about ordering their repeat prescriptions to make sure they have enough medication over the bank holiday period.

Repeat prescriptions can sometimes take up to a week for general practices and pharmacies to process, so it is wise to plan ahead and make sure that you are fully stocked up with any medications you may need.

Every bank holiday, NHS 111 sees an increase in people contacting it about repeat prescriptions. Over the Easter weekend a quarter of all 111 online sessions in the Midlands were to do with repeat prescriptions which can be avoided if people get themselves organised now.

GP practices and pharmacies will have limited opening hours over the Bank Holiday, making it more challenging for patients to access medicines at short notice, although somepharmacies will remain open over the bank holidays to help those looking for help to treat minor illnesses, such as diarrhoea, a runny nose, a cough, or a headache. It is also useful to think about stocking your medicine cabinet up with any essentials to help with such ailments.

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Dr Dave Briggs, Medical Director at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, said: “By re-stocking medicine cabinets, knowing when your GP practice is open and planning ahead for repeat prescriptions, people can ensure they make the most of the bank holiday weekends.

“We know people might be focused on celebrating the King’s Coronation and it’s not often that we get two consecutive bank holidays in early May, as well as the one later in the month, so it’s easy to forget about the medications we may need during this time. We are encouraging people to make sure that they don’t run out of their usual medications, as this can have serious health consequences, which have the potential to ruin your plans.

“We are also reminding people that the NHS is here if you need us over the Bank Holiday period and our 111 call operators will be available 24/7 to answer your concerns and direct you to the most appropriate place for your need.”

If people feel unwell over the bank holiday weekend, they can check their symptoms and get access to advice using 111.nhs.uk online. NHS 111 is a free service which runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

111 online can tell you:

  • where to get help for your symptoms, if you’re not sure what to do
  • how to find general health information and advice
  • where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • where to find an emergency dentist, if there is availability in your area.

Local community pharmacists can also provide free health advice to support you to self-care and no appointment is necessary.

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