HEALTH AND CARE: Do you have enough medicine for Easter?

Some pharmacies will be open over the Easter weekend to offer help and advice
Some pharmacies will be open over the Easter weekend to offer help and advice

With Easter weekend fast approaching, we have been asking people who have repeat prescriptions to make sure they have enough medicines to last over the bank holiday weekend.

GP practices will be closed as usual over the weekend, as well as tomorrow and Monday.

Therefore, we want to make sure that people that need regular, routine medicines have what they need.

If you don’t, or you are running low, please contact your GP practice today or pharmacy over the weekend to get extra supplies to last over the weekend.

Taking action now means that we can make sure that the out-of-hours services that are available over the bank holiday weekend are on hand for those that need urgent medical help.

Out-of-hours doctors will be available over the weekend for people who need urgent help and treatment; the service is not designed for more routine problems like repeat prescriptions.

However, this isn’t always the case, and on a Saturday one in four calls to the urgent GP out-of-hours service are from people who have run out of routine medication.

If doctors are busy arranging repeat medicines, they are not so readily available for patients who urgently need their help.

Dr Andrew Catto is chief medical officer at Integrated Care 24 (IC24), the organisation which provides urgent care out-of-hours when local surgeries are closed.

Dr Catto said this week: “As many people will understand, there is always an increased pressure on health services over bank holiday weekends when GP surgeries are closed. During the bank holiday weekends our out of hours service often receives a very high volume of requests from patients who have run out of routine and non-urgent repeat medication and need help accessing a repeat prescription.

“By checking your medicine stocks, picking up prescriptions and ensuring that you have enough repeat medication to see you through the Easter break you will not only help reduce the pressure on local health services, but you will give yourself the best chance of staying well this Easter.”

If you do need help or advice over the Easter weekend remember you can get free, expert, quick information from your pharmacy.

A number of pharmacies will be open over the Easter weekend providing advice and support on a range of ailments and illness.

You can find out which pharmacies are open this bank holiday weekend by visiting the Sussex Help My NHS website – www.sussexhelpmy.nhs.uk

This is our NHS, so let’s take care of it together and make sure that everyone can get the help and attention they need.

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