Residents in North Yorkshire and York who are on repeat medication are being encouraged to place their orders this week to avoid running out.
In the lead-up to Christmas, pharmacy processing times may take a little longer than usual because of the volume of prescriptions.
NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Vale of York CCG say people should ideally order their repeat prescriptions no later than Thursday 16 December for collection before 23 December – anything later cannot be guaranteed to be ready before Christmas.
Dr Nigel Wells, NHS Vale of York CCG Clinical Chair, said: “The lead-up to Christmas can be a busy time for the NHS and local health services, so those on repeat prescriptions are advised to order them well in advance so they can enjoy the festive season in good health.
“Having a medicine cabinet at home with some simple over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol, ibuprofen, and anti-diarrhoea tablets is also recommended so you can treat any common illnesses or ailments yourself, without needing to see a GP.”
NHS North Yorkshire CCG prescribing lead, Dr Tim Rider, added: “If you order your repeat medication directly via your GP Practice, please be patient – surgeries across North Yorkshire and York remain exceptionally busy at the moment. The easiest and quickest way to order your repeat medicine is via the NHS App, or GP Online Services – you can do this from the comfort of your own home, without having to leave the house.”
Ian Dean, Chief Executive Officer of Community Pharmacy North Yorkshire, said: “Before you order, please check what medicines you already have at home and only order the items that you need and please do not stockpile medicines. Excess supplies of medicines at home can be dangerous and is also wasteful. Once dispensed, medicines cannot be re-used and have to be destroyed.”
While the majority of GP surgeries are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, some pharmacies in the Vale of York and North Yorkshire will be open and are the best place to go for help with minor health concerns.
Please check with local Community Pharmacy for their opening hours, as they will vary over the Christmas and New Year period. More information can be found on the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-Pharmacy
You should use the NHS 111 phone or online service if you require urgent medical help or advice for a non-life-threatening condition; or call 999 if you have a medical emergency, such as breathing difficulties, chest pains or if you’ve been in a serious accident.