Doctors in North Yorkshire are urging patients to check their stocks of repeat medication ahead of the Christmas period.
With most GP practices closed for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, other local NHS services often experience increased demand, with the NHS 111 telephone service receiving high volumes of calls from patients who have run out of their vital medication.
NHS Hambleton Richmondshire and Whitby, NHS Harrogate and Rural District and NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are asking patients to check their repeat prescriptions to make sure they have enough medication to see them over the Christmas period.
Dr Charles Parker, the clinical lead for NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG, said: “While we do ask patients to only ‘order’ repeat prescriptions when necessary, it is really important people have enough to see them through periods when their GP practice is closed, such as the Christmas period.
“By ensuring they have enough of their prescription medication, patients will be doing their bit for the NHS by freeing up urgent care services for people with more serious health problems.”
Patients are also being asked to remember that their usual pharmacy may be closed at times over the Christmas period, though other local pharmacies may be available. You can find details of pharmacy opening times in your area on your local CCG website.
If patients feel they need urgent health care over the festive period, they should dial 111. If appropriate, patients may then get an appointment at one of the local urgent treatment centres.
If it’s an illness or injury that is serious or life threatening, patients should always call 999 for an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency department.