With Christmas only a couple of weeks away, a major health campaign is encouraging people across Dumfries and Galloway to plan ahead if they depend on repeat prescriptions.
The NHSScotland Be Health-Wise this Winter campaign is highlighting the possibility that some GP surgeries will be closed for up to four days because this year Christmas Day falls on a Monday.
Having enough repeat prescriptions for themselves, or anyone they look after, means people can enjoy the festive break with one less thing to worry about.
John McAnaw, Head of Pharmacy at NHS 24, said it is important for people taking regular medication to make sure they have enough supplies to last them through to the New Year: “There’s always so much to get organised at this time of year, with only a couple of weeks left until Christmas, but it’s important to remember those winter health necessities on your ‘to do’ list.
“It’s a good idea to pick up some over-the-counter remedies for winter ailments such as coughs and colds and if you need regular medications, take a minute to check you have enough left to cover the holiday period. It’s important not to waste medicines, so only order what you need, and pick it up in plenty of time.”
This year, GP surgeries may be closed for up to four days (Saturday 23rd to Tuesday 26th December) but it’s worth checking with your local surgery. NHS 24 is predicting a busy period, with more than 74,000 calls expected to 111. A lot of these calls will be about repeat prescriptions so people can save themselves time and worry by being prepared.
Community Pharmacy Scotland is backing the national campaign. Harry McQuillan, Chief Executive Officer said “Patients who rely on regular medication should check how much they have left now, and if they are going to run out they need to make sure they order by Tuesday 19th December to be sure of getting it before Christmas. If you do run out of medicines your local community pharmacy can help – take along your empty pack or bottle, or the repeat ordering slip and in most cases they can dispense enough to last until your GP surgery reopens.”