Have you ordered your repeat prescription ahead of Christmas?
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.
With Christmas just around the corner, it’s a good time to stock up your medicine cabinet and make sure you order any repeat. Most GP practices, dentists, optometrists 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.
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.
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.
Pharmacies will be open for their regular Saturday and Sunday hours on 23 and 24 December, but the majority will be closed for Christmas Day (Monday 25) and Boxing Day (Tuesday 26). Again, pharmacy availability will be extremely limited on New Year’s Day (Monday 1 January).
A list of the pharmacies that will be open across the region over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays can be found on our website You can also use the NHS find a pharmacy tool to find your nearest available pharmacy.
Most GP practices will also be closed over the bank holidays and it can sometimes take up to five working days for a practice to issue a repeat prescription and for a pharmacy to process and dispense the medication – so ordering as soon as possible is advisable. You can order repeat prescriptions online, through the NHS App or through your GP surgery.
You can still access urgent health services over the festive season, but most GP practices will be closed on bank holidays. Health advice is available through 111.nhs.uk and you can find which pharmacies are open by visiting www.healthierlsc.co.uk/winter and selecting ‘Pharmacy’.
The dental helpline is available should you need dental advice when your normal dentist is closed. Call 0300 1234010 between 8am and 9pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm weekends and bank holidays. For advice outside of these times visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111.
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. Click the link to find out if you are eligible, and to book.