As winter sets in patients are being reminded that they can help themselves and the NHS by being more organised this festive period.
The reminder comes from NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) Partnership who are advising patients to add ordering and collecting repeat prescriptions to their Christmas to do list.
GP practices in Leeds offer extended opening hours including some providing late evening or weekend appointments. However patients are being advised to help the NHS this winter by being organised and planning ahead for the Christmas break.
It is important that anyone with a long-term condition, needing regular medication, is prepared for this by having enough medicines over this period especially if they are going away to visit family or friends.
Many GP practices in Leeds now offer online services including ordering of repeat prescriptions, saving patients a visit to their local GP practice. Patients of all practices can also book and cancel appointments online.
Dr Simon Stockill, GP and Medical Director at the CCG, said:
“Running out of medication is never a good thing but running out over the festive period could have serious consequences for some patients as well as having a knock on effect on other health services. It’s important for people to ensure they order and pick up repeat prescriptions so that they can enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.
“Patients who have any urgent medicines queries when their GP is closed can contact their usual pharmacy, or if they are closed, NHS 111.”
The CCG is also reminding people to check their medicine cabinets so that they are prepared for winter.
Many minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, headaches and diarrhoea can spoil festive gatherings but a well-stocked medicine cabinet can reduce the disruption they cause.
Ruth Buchan, Chief Executive Officer at Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire, said:
“Before the festive period begins check that your medicines cupboard is well stocked and the medicines are still in date.
“If you are worried about your health, instead of booking a GP appointment, your local pharmacy can help you with more than you might think. Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can offer expert, confidential advice and treatment for many minor health problems.
“Visit your pharmacy in good time before Christmas so they can advise you on common illnesses such as coughs, colds, aches, pains and skin rashes and the best ways to treat them. This can save you time in a GP waiting room and help you to feel better sooner.
“To find your nearest pharmacy and for more information about treating minor illnesses and preparing your medicine cabinet visit NHS Choices www.nhs.uk.”
For further advice on keeping healthy and safe this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell