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Residents who regularly take prescription medications are urged to order repeat prescriptions in advance of GP practices and pharmacies closing for the Bank Holidays over Easter, freeing up GP time to care for those patients most in need.
Running out of daily medication can have serious consequences for patients, especially those who rely on them to control heart and breathing problems. The NHS can provide repeat prescriptions outside of GP surgery hours if absolutely necessary, but repeat prescribing uses around 10% of out-of-hours-GP time, thereby delaying care for ill patients
The local NHS is calling on anyone who regularly orders a repeat prescription to order it at least a week before their medication is due to run out. It can take 48 hours to process a repeat prescription under normal circumstances and even longer during extremely busy periods such as the Easter Bank Holidays.
For those who find themselves unwell or need medical advice when their GP surgery is closed, a website at www.sussexhelpmy.nhs.uk highlights all these available alternatives to A&E visits and GP appointments, with searchable listings on the most appropriate services to treat a range of illness and injuries.
Residents can also dial 111 if they need medical help but are not in a life-threatening situation. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is a great way to get the right medical advice at any time.
Dr David Supple, Clinical Chair of the CCG, said:
“With the excitement of the Easter Bank Holidays, it’s often easy for people to overlook ordering repeat prescriptions, but forgetting to get enough supplies can put a lot of strain on out-of-hours services, which are there to deal with urgent health problems not to issue repeat prescriptions.
“This is why we are advising anyone who regularly orders a repeat prescription to order it at least a week before their medication is due to run out and take it to the pharmacy as soon as they have it. Under normal circumstances it takes 48 hours to process a repeat prescription, though it can take longer during extremely busy periods such as bank holidays.
“People need to be aware that their GP surgery or pharmacy will be closed at times over the holiday period. If in doubt it is best to check opening times well in advance.”