Don’t get caught without your medicines over the winter break

Christmas and New Year can be a busy time, which makes it easy to miss checking on your medicine supplies. So local GPs are asking people to order repeat prescriptions early to make sure they have enough to tide them over the holiday period when GP practices and pharmacies are closed.

Patients on repeat prescriptions are advised to request them ten working days before the winter break to allow enough time for processing by both GP and pharmacy. This means that all repeat prescription requests should be made by 10 December.

GP online services make it even easier for patients to order repeat prescriptions or even book practice appointments from a smartphone, tablet or computer; saving them a trip to their surgery. People should ask about GP online services at their GP practice.

With the weather turning colder, people should seek advice from their pharmacist at the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold.

Older people can be more susceptible to developing serious health problems when it is cold outside so they are reminded to think about keeping their houses warm and staying active. At the same time, the general public is asked to keep an eye on elderly neighbours in the cold weather.

Dr Neville Purssell, Chair of Central London CCG and GP at Paddington Green practice, commented:

“It’s important for patients who rely on repeat prescriptions to stock up in good time for the winter holidays. That will help them to stay well over the break.

“Please take extra care in the cold weather if you have an underlying health condition like bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, stroke or kidney disease; or you are aged 65 or over.

“At the first sign of a cough or cold, it’s worth asking your high street pharmacist for advice. If they can’t help you, they’ll be able to refer you to a service that can.

“We also want to remind elderly people how important it is to keep warm and active in the cold weather. Moving around will help you stay warm, and keep you fit and healthy at the same time.

“Also if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine, it’s not too late to protect yourself and your family over the winter months– please contact your GP practice or pharmacist to organise it.”

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For more details on how to access GP online services, visit uk/gponlineservices.

For information on how to stay well over the winter, visit http://ow.ly/eFEn30gTumb