PEOPLE across County Durham might be busy putting up their trees and checking their shopping lists but health officials are urging them to make sure they have one thing ordered well in advance of the Christmas holidays – their prescriptions.
NHS County Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding people to enjoy the festive season in good health by ordering their prescribed medication well in advance.
CCG chief officer, Dr Stewart Findlay, said: “As Christmas approaches and with the significant pressures being faced across the NHS due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are asking patients not to leave it to the last minute to order their repeat medication and to only order what they really need.
“Many people require repeat medication to manage long-term conditions and most remember to order and collect their prescriptions when they are due, which is helpful and appreciated, however in the build up to Christmas it can be easy to forget and this may lead to problems.
“GP practices are only closed for an extra three days over the holiday period, so a little forward planning should avoid any problems. If you know that your medication is due over Christmas and New Year please remember to re-order your prescription now while there is plenty time for it to be processed and dispensed.”
Patients are being advised to order any repeat prescriptions online, or check with their practice about local arrangements, as some GP practices may not accept paper prescription requests due to covid restrictions.
- It can take between seven to ten days to request a repeat prescription.
- GP practices require two to three working days to issue a repeat prescription; it can take a further three days for pharmacies to process.
Patients are also being reminded to check what medication they already have and only order the items that they need from their GP practice.
“Please only order what you really need on your repeat prescription,” added Dr Findlay.
“You don’t need to order ‘just in case’ or get every item listed on your prescription every time, if you’ve got enough of one medicine then please don’t order it – you can still request it if you need it in the future.”
With many GP practices and pharmacies closed over the festive bank holidays, local pharmacists are also urging people to be prepared to help them and their families through the season’s most common illnesses.
County Durham and Darlington Local Pharmaceutical Committee chief officer, Greg Burke, added: “Many winter ailments clear up on their own and can be treated with simple over the counter products from your local pharmacy.
“We recommend having a medicine cabinet stocked with some simple remedies like paracetamol and ibuprofen so you can treat common ailments such as colds, sore throat and coughs at home without having to see a GP.”
How to order your repeat prescription
1. Order online via your GP Practice website – you need to be registered with your practice for this.
2. Order through the NHS App – download the app from Google Play or the App store, you can register without having to visit your practice. More information on the NHS App is available on the nhs.uk website.
3. Order in person, at your GP Practice – simply tick the medicines required on the white, tear-off section of your prescription and drop it into your GP Practice, ask a relative or friend to drop it in for you, or post it. Many practices have a box outside so you don’t need to go into the practice building to do this.
Some pharmacies will be open over the Christmas holidays and opening times will be posted on the CCG’s website and social media once confirmed.
REMEMBER please do not visit your GP practice or pharmacy if you have symptoms of COVID.