Another bank holiday is just around the corner, and the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria is reminding people to make sure they have ordered their repeat prescriptions ahead of the extended weekend (Monday 29 May).
GP practices and many pharmacies will be closed for the duration of the weekend, so it is important to make sure prescriptions are requested in good time to avoid being without vital medication.
As well as ordering in your traditional way, patients are also being reminded of the benefits of using the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions at a time and date convenient to them.
Some of the other useful features available on the app enable patients to view their GP health record, nominate their preferred pharmacy, find local NHS services and get health advice via 111 online. It is also a handy way to check which local services are available over the bank holiday.
Kath Gulson, chair for the Local Professional Network for Pharmacy across Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “The NHS App offers a digital ‘front door’ for interacting with your GP practice and local community pharmacy, and enables patients to access services on the go or from their own homes.
“Bank holidays are typically a busy time for health services, so it is important to order repeat prescriptions as soon as possible - either through the app or through your GP practice or pharmacy – to ensure there is enough time to prepare your prescription ready for you to collect your medicines from the pharmacy.
“If you need care during the bank holiday weekend, call 999 in life threatening emergencies and use NHS 111 online for other health concerns.”
For more information about the NHS App, visit nhs.uk/nhs-app or download from the App Store or on Google Play.
Another option for people with a long-term repeat prescription is to ask their GP about electronic repeat dispensing, which can allow a doctor to sign off 12 months’ worth of prescriptions at once, which means prescriptions will be ready for collection whenever they need it without the need to place their regular order with their GP practice.
GP practices usually require a minimum of 48 hours’ notice to issue a repeat prescription, and community pharmacies also generally need between 24 and 48 hours.
Some local pharmacies will be open on bank holidays and are able to provide expert advice and deal with minor ailments and illnesses. Details of which pharmacies will be open on the bank holiday are available at www.lancashireandsouthcumbria.icb.nhs.uk/our-work/your-local-services.