Sandwell and West Birmingham residents are being urged not to leave it too late to order their repeat prescriptions this Christmas. NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is issuing the reminder so that people can have a healthy Christmas without being without vital medication.
Ordering and collecting new prescriptions can take several days, which is why patients are being urged to plan ahead. Prescriptions can be ordered by patients visiting or phoning their GP practice, with some practices offering a quick and easy online ordering system.
Many GP practices will have limited opening hours during the Christmas holidays, but some pharmacies are open seven days a week and late into the evening and many will operate over the Christmas and New Year period. Pharmacists are highly qualified healthcare professionals who have undertaken a minimum of five years education and training; they therefore have expert knowledge on prescription and over the counter medicines.
Dr Nick Harding, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:
“For many, Christmas is a special time when people enjoy being with friends and family so the last thing we want for our patients is having that time spoilt by not being able to take regular medication.
“Many people with long term conditions rely on their prescribed medication to help them keep their condition under control. So, along with the presents, the turkey and tinsel, it's important that patients have enough medicine to see them through the festive period. With GP practices closed over the Christmas bank holidays, it’s important to order repeat prescriptions at least a week in advance so that the festive season can be enjoyed in good health. It is also important to remind any elderly relatives who are coming to visit.
"Now is also a good time to double check that home medicine cabinets are well stocked with over-the-counter remedies so that minor illnesses and injuries can be managed at home. Local pharmacies can provide useful advice and deal with minor ailments without people having to see their GP about winter bugs like coughs, colds, sore throats, stomach upsets and flu.”